98% of Bitcoin trading volume over the past six months was in Chinese Renminbi


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/12/98-of-bitcoin-trading-volume.html


#2

Considering the mirrored nature of those, don’t the curves just show that Bitcoin is effectively dollar-denominated?


#3

Look closely at the axes.


#4

I don’t see how this is different from the usual trend for ultra-wealthy billionaires to figure out ways to hide their assets from stockholders and the government in offshore accounts. It’s just gone into the cloud rather than the Caymans.


#5

Thank you for pointing that out, mixed axis charts are bad enough in most cases, but to have one inverted seems a little sketchy.

So basically the chart really says:
It costs more Renminbi to buy a Bitcoin today than it did last year.
It cost more Renminbi to buy a Dollar today than it did last year.
Because of the inverted and truncated axis it’s hard to tell what relative change these two trends had.
My eyeballing says Renminbi to buy a Bitcoin is up around 200% while Renminbi to buy a Dollar is only up around 8%.


#6

I’ve also heard that bitcoin is becoming more popular among regular Chinese citizens, as more and more restrictions are put in place on the flow of RMB within the country, not just across its borders.

WeChat, the “Chinese WhatsApp”, is an application platform that allows you to do things like apply for loans, pay bills, and pass small sums of money to other users of the application, and it is utterly compromised by government regulation and surveillance. It will do things like check what other applications you have installed and who your friends are, and it will put a black mark on your record if you or anyone you know is doing anything unsanctioned. So I hear that more and more Chinese people will have two phones, one for being an ostensibly good citizen and another that can be used for working around restrictions imposed by WeChat. RMB on one, bitcoin on the other.

In many ways China is years ahead of the western world.


#7

Most ransomware operators don’t accept RMB-- it’s largely bitcoin…


#8

I just don’t get bitcoin. I’ve been perusing reddit.com/r/Bitcoin for a number of months: every other thread is “Don’t use XXXXX as a bitcoin wallet-- they’re a scam!” “Don’t use this software-- it’s a scam!” “My bank won’t let me use bitcoin.” “My bank just cancelled my account.” "My HDD was lost/stolen/crashed/compromised-- all my BTC gone :(" Not to mention that bitcoin is the exclusive currency of drug dealers and ransomware thieves.

And i still just don’t get how, if my bitcoin is a number, why there isn’t a race condition if someone else uses my bitcoin after they sell it to me. Also, the whole thing about how no one knows who the actual inventor of Bitcoin is. (How is that even possible?) Way too “Mr. Robot” for me.


#9

This isn’t capital flight so much as gambling.

Bitcoin evangelists will always make these claims. The reality is less impressive.


#10

IIRC physical currency is still the most used method for drug dealers. Ransomware being a digital phenomenon uses mostly digital currencies, and it historically used other less traceable currencies in addition to bitcoin, but those were typically corporate backed and not peer to peer, allowing law enforcement to put pressure on the providers to track down who received the payouts.

Part of the problem is that your description of a bitcoin is both right in one way, and wrong in another. My bank account is also just a number, well multiple numbers, my banks ABA routing number, my personal account number, by account balance. Those three numbers are what give my account value, but additional numbers are needed to transfer that value to another account. It may be a bank internal transfer number, or a check number, or a debit card number, and it’s associated authorization number, etc. Some of those are issued ahead of time, some just as they are needed. My bank validates all those numbers, and checks that some of those numbers that should only be used once can only be used once, and that for each use the account balance is still enough to cover the transaction.

Bit coin is basically the same way, but without a bank at the center of it all. You have a (public) wallet number that serves the same use as the ABA routing and account numbers. You can calculate the total balance for any wallet number in the whole bitcoin system. When you want to send money you create a new transaction which is basically just a big number that can only be used once. Every wallet also has a private number, you use the private number to sign the transaction number, if any one tampers with the transaction it invalidates the signature. Since only you have the private wallet number no one else can sign a forged transaction for you. Then you send the transaction to the network, if the amount being sent is less than your balance, that transaction has never been seen before, and the signature is valid, then miners on the network may include it in the public ledger and it becomes a real transfer.

Bitcoins are not actually some magic number, your bitcoins are really just the sum of all bitcoins paid to your wallet number, plus the sum of all bit coins earned for that wallet through bitcoin mining, minus all bit coins paid out from your wallet. Each bitcoin doesn’t in fact have it’s own number, instead they are referenced by the block that earned them from mining or last transaction that referenced them. e.g. you could say earn a bitcoin from mining and it was stored in block 500, then if you wanted to send me half of it for this wonderful explanation you would create a transaction that says from block 500 send .5 bitcoin to my wallet, and send .5 bitcoin back to your wallet (yeah it weir but that’s how it works), this fully consumes the old bitcoin, dividing it into two parts. You send this out to the network and eventually it becomes a part of say block 527 (blocks aren’t really sequentially numbed, but the real number are semi random and very large), now I can create a transaction that says to use my .5 bitcoin from block 527 and you can create a transaction that uses your .5 bitcoin from block 527, but if you try to use the full bitcoin from block 500 the network will see that it has already been used once and reject your transaction. (You can also pull bitcoins and parts of bit coins together from different blocks into one transaction to make a larger transfer, assuming they are all owned by your wallet.)

All transactions made through bitcoin are all publicly visible and audit-able at all times.


#11

Well I heard this from someone who doesn’t know a whole lot about bitcoin but who still has a good deal of friends and family in China. But yes, you probably shouldn’t trust some asshole on the BBS to tell you what the reality is.


#12

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