https://www.sosobtc.com/article/24259.html submitted by
The following is a rough/partial translation of the article "Reflections on the present situation of Bitcoin and thoughts on its future" provided in the link above
Two hurricanes swept through the landscape as the summer season trails off, instead of uprooting trees and destroying houses, it ravaged through the Bitcoin markets.
In early September, Chinese authorities made an announcement banning Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), this was shortly followed by a second official statement regarding the closures of Chinese cryptocurrencies exchanges. These two statements triggered a flurry of selling off and caused a massive upheaval in cryotocurrency markets.
This author had anticipated these actions from PBOC, and was perhaps, even an unwitting instigator (in the most minor sense possible) for the current turn of events. A few days back, this author had suggested that PBOC should just shut down Bitcoin mines and exchanges in China, thus allowing an easy way out for the central bank to abscond itself of any “supervisory responsibility” over this burgeoning industry. This would also ensure that Bitcoin markets would open to develop organically in a democratic, autonomous manner, free from constant irrational interference of the Central Bank. Nevertheless this author still found it surprising that the typically indecisive PBOC would take such a drastic action within such a short time.
In the author’s opinion, there are three main factors, and three minor factors that lead to this latest decision by PBOC. Here are the 3 main reasons: 1) The increasingly unwieldy size of the Bitcoin market
First, let’s keep a few figures in mind. 1) In 2015, based on the limited amount of information available to the public; China UnionPay the crown jewel of PBOC disclosed a profit of 3.8 billion CNY, and held 66.5 billion CNY worth of assets. 2) 220 billion CNY; stamp duty revenue generated from securities issued by CSRC.
Now, consider the size of the Bitcoin industry in China. China holds approximately two thirds of Bitcoin currently in circulation, ~10 million Bitcoins. Before the most recent market upheaval, Bitcoin’s value was holding steady at around 30000 CNY (4500 USD), hence according to this approximation, Bitcoin holders in China is controlling 300 billion CNY worth of a highly liquid, easily transacted wealth that is not subjected to regulations and jurisdiction by the Central Bank and Ministry’s of Finance. In a space of a few short years, the amount of wealth held by Chinese citizens in Bitcoin has now swelled to a very significant amount that’s on the scale of annual military spending of nations such as India and Russia (55.9 billion and 69.2 billion USD respectively, estimated Bitcoin holding in China 45 billion USD (when price was at 4500 usd)
Now that the days of exponential Chinese economic growth driven by its manufacturing industry is over, various ministries are trying all sorts of different methods to promote economic growth. However, for all their efforts to promote and cultivate a new multibillion industry, their achievements pale in comparison to the Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies industry which had slipped right under their noses and is now thriving. It is easy to conjecture that the success of this new, non-government sanctioned industry is a slap in the face for archaic and control hungry Chinese party officials.
Following the runaway success of Tencent and Alibaba, two recent multibillion companies which the Chinese State failed to put their finger in, Chinese officials are now determined to nip the Bitcoin industry in its bud before it blossoms into another non-state sanction success. This vindictive and petty type of thinking is rather typical, and to be expected of the current administration. 2）Disruption of the societal hierarchy
The social hierarchy of China is still largely determined by state-owned monopolies. The distribution of public wealth and resources like real estate, mining rights, and business permits etc. are dictated by those wielding power in state enterprises. The immense wealth generated by these essentially risk free businesses is only accessible to relatives of high-ranking officials and fellow insiders, i.e an oligarchy.
However the wealth generated from the Bitcoin industry which was essentially started by a bunch of tech enthusiasts with some old computers, a few lot of GPUs, and self taught mathematical models. This completely circumvents the typical route to wealth and riches as dictated by the state, and is a threat to the way they constructed the society to be. Hence, the Bitcoin industry must be stopped and to be made an example of.
Business owners in cahoots with state officials also resents the Bitcoin industry greatly, like how they resisted e-payment systems like Alipay, WechatPay, or e-communities such as qq and Wechat initially. These business owners are essentially power brokers, where their greatest asset lies in their ability to act as an intermediary between private enterprises and the State, if new businesses no longer require the blessing of the state to prosper, then as the unofficial toll collectors would surely be starved. 3）The inequality of wealth distribution arising from the Bitcoin industry
The frontrunners and greatest benefactors of the Chinese Bitcoin industry had been young tech enthusiasts. Typically young males in their late 20s, and as the price of Bitcoin boomed, they became a very conspicuous bunch of newly rich. These quickly drew the ire of the Chinese community, “your dad isn’t some powerful Chinese tycoon or government official, what did you do to deserve to get rich so quickly!” was the unspoken sentiment of the public. As more and more stories about the overnight success of Bitcoin mining/trading enterprises received inceased media coverage across 2016, the Chinese were driven into frenzy on this new source of wealth. One portion of the public started to throw their hats into the ring, by exploiting the fact that the public by large only possess a half-baked understanding of cryptocurrencies. These newcomers posed themselves as some sort of Bitcoin sage, and immediately started advocating all sorts of altcoins and cryptocurrencies to enrich themselves.
Another portion of the public started to horde towards these so called bitcoin sages entrusting them with their hard earned money so that they can be a part of this exciting new industry. The fact that they lost money has nothing to do with the Bitcoin industry, but is solely due to the fact that they did not educate themselves properly and allowed themselves to be taken advantage of by some unscrupulous individuals.
But the largest portion the public became increasingly envious of the success achieved by the frontrunners in the Bitcoin industry, feeling that it’s too late to join the bandwagon, and angry that all these newfound wealth had completely eluded them, they began to sound their frustration, demanding the closure and banning of the new arcane industry that they had missed out on.
In recent years, financial crisis in China had always originated from State-controlled markets such as the stock exchange, Forex or the real estate industry. As the Chinese people grew increasingly distrustful of these State-controlled industries, the self-regulated Bitcoin industry emerged as shining beacon of success. The relevant authorities took note of the public dissatisfaction with Bitcoin and decided to go with the flow, assuaging public outrage while at the same time, diverting attention away from their own failures in issues such as the unaffordable real estate prices that's currently paralyzing the young Chinese community.
The aforementioned three factors are deep rooted, and would always be a core reason for the Chinese government to stamp out Bitcoin. Here are three more minor reasons, which are more circumstantial and technical in nature: 1）The contentious hard fork leading to discord among the Bitcoin community
Ever since Bitcoin splitted into Bitcoin Core and BitcoinCash, the community has grew increasingly partisan. This animosity between the two factions had damaged Bitcoin, and some people had decided to exploit this divide. The statement from James Dimon about Bitcoin being a scam was quickly picked up by Chinese officials to clamp down on Bitcoin. The credibility of his statement is dubious, seeing that JP Morgan was just as complicit as Lehman Brother’s was during the 2008 financial crisis, and really should not be calling out other people for being a scam. However, Chinese officials quickly took his words as gospel, after all enemy of an enemy is a friend. This crackdown essentially kills of the new Bitcoin blockchain advocated by the Chinese Bitcoin community (i.e Bitcoin Cash), so in a sense the state officials are modern traitors, by siding with foreigners and their view of Bitcoin. 2）Bitcoin market is still too naïve and immature
Even before the Bitcoin hardfork was concluded, exchanges started listing tokens representing BitCoin Cash for trading. This action in particular hastens the decision by Chinese authorities to clampdown on Bitcoin. This decision is simply reckless and irrational, as it lies in complete betrayal of what Bitcoin stands for. Bitcoin is the time tested, gold standard among cryptocurrencies because every single bitcoin is forged by miners, this is what that makes Bitcoin secure and distinguishes it from the many other altcoins that currently exisits. Bitcoin is more than just a currency; it has solid proof of work backing it up. By simply listing BCC tokens before they are mined. What the exchanges are doing is no different from the central bank issuing fiat currencies, and by stepping into the domain of the central bank, Bitcoin exchanges now have painted a huge bulls eye on its back 3）Too much speculators, opportunists joining the fray
In the few weeks prior to this crackdown, i.e when Bitcoin was at its all time high. Figures in the financial world that used to jeer at Bitcoin started to change their tune. They popped out like mushrooms after rain, claiming that they too want to join this exciting new industry, be it as a miner, a day trader or to start blockchain companies. In hindsight, these are clear indicators that the Bitcoin market is overheated and is due for a correction.
Three years ago, when Bitcoin was worth around 1000 CNY, it was clearly a good, underpriced product with a clear utility and huge potential for future growth, but not a lot of people were buying it. However, now that the price had climbed all the way to 30000 CNY, people are rushing to get more of it. There was clearly a bubble, and that’s why this author started exhorting for PBOC to crackdown on Bitcoin and pop the bubble.
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