The Global Bitcoin Summit of 2014 was held in the China National Convention Center on May 10-11, 2014. The Chinese Government and People’s Bank of China have imposed harsh bans on Bitcoin funding banks to curb Bitcoin transactions. This act is seen to stop the hinderance of the growth of the Yuan, with the rise of Bitcoin. Despite such harsh regulations, investors and other Bitcoin enthusiasts attend the Global Bitcoin Summit 2014 held in China. Around 200 Bitcoin enthusiasts attended the event, thereby defying the Chinese Government ban.
The main reason for Bitcoin prices to hit highs of $1200 and more in 2013, was the speculation that the ruling Communist party in China would take appropriate measures to ensure that Bitcoin flourishes in China. But, no such measures have been taken up by the Government. Instead, the Chinese government has imposed ban on bank transactions that fund Bitcoin Exchanges and Bitcoin transactions.
Many attendees of the Global Bitcoin Summit 2014 were perplexed about whether or not they would even be allowed to attend the summit. This fear started developing after the China’s central bank ordered the Chinese banks to crack down on all Bitcoin related activity. This also made China’s five largest Bitcoin Exchanges to avoid the Global Bitcoin Summit 2014. Reportedly, several of the attendees were cautiously optimistic about the future of Bitcoin, with some even voicing support for the Chinese government's stepped-up regulation of the currency, which is not backed by any government or central bank.
Eric Gu, the co-founder of the Shanghai-based Bit Angels Club, says that the Chinese government let the Bitcoin craze grow initially. But, now since China has the world’s biggest Bitcoin Exchanges, the Chinese government feels threatened by the Bitcoin craze. It feels that the Bitcoin would hinder financial stability in China.
Venture capitalist Li Xiaolai, who organised the conference this weekend, dismissed the suggestion that Beijing would ultimately outlaw the use of digital currencies in the mainland. “Thailand has already banned Bitcoin, so has Russia. But who cares if China bans it as long as everyone knows the whole world can’t ban it,” the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post quoted Li as saying.
The attendees seem to be divided on the Chinese government’s actions. While some oppose the ban and a few interestingly say that the Chinese bans are completely “logical and reasonable.” Majority of the attendees are hoping that the harsh restrictions from the Chinese government would be lifted and Bitcoin would slowly flourish in China. Some of the attendees are even discussing ways in which the Yuan and Bitcoin can co-exist in China.
What the Global Bitcoin Summit 2014 did is that it created a sense of optimism in the minds of Bitcoin enthusiasts in China. People from all parts of the country flocked the Beijing National Convention Center and this demonstrated a sense of togetherness and hope in China’s Bitcoin community. Possibly, some more such events in the future may bring together a large number of Bitcoiners in China, but this was definitely a start!