Bitcoin in China
On 1 June, 2016, Bitcoin Wednesday will host Virgilio Lizardo Jr., Head of International for Bitbank Group, one of China’s largest Bitcoin companies. Mr. Lizardo Jr.’s presentation will cover the development of the digital currency sector in China, including:
- Bitcoin’s Use in China
- Policies of the Chinese Government
- The World’s Perception of Chinese Miners Vs. The Reality of the Situation
Approximately 70% of the world’s bitcoins are currently mined in China. On 4 May, 2016 the BBC released this unusual video coverage of one of Bitbank’s secret Bitcoin mines which generates $8 million of bitcoins per year. Located in a small mountain village the mine is at such a high elevation that you have to bring your own cans of oxygen.
During the video one of Bitbank’s co-founder’s Guo Chandler identifies what may be one of the greatest challenges of broader acceptance, understanding. “When [people finally] do understand,” he says, “it’s too late to catch up.” Later in the interview he explains that the Chinese government has already taken serious interest in the blockchain technology, and if it decides to use it, it “could become China’s future currency.”
Bitbank is one of the elite companies in the sector that, through its family of 6 companies, encompasses almost every aspect of the Bitcoin ecosystem:
- Exchanges: CHBTC.com one of China’s first, with an average daily volume of more than 75,000 bitcoins, and BTER.com;
- Mining: BW.com, one of world’s top miners by hash rate;
- Financial Services: 8R.com, a lending platform; and
- Wallets and Enterprise Solutions: Bither
- Crowdfunding: The Jua.com platform, which is responsible for successful crowdfunding of more than 20 cloud-mining operations, including Long Kuang Bitcoin, one of the world’s largest producers of mining hardware.
Bitbank employs 200 in eight cities in China, and is headquartered in Shenzhen, a metropolitan area of more than 18 million inhabitants that is one of China’s major economic centers for technology manufacturing.
Mr. Lizardo Jr. is a Dominican who was born in Panama and grew up in the United States, near Boston. Despite this, he speaks conversational Chinese; before coming to work for Bitbank, he has delivered corporate training for more than 100 companies in South China. He currently handles business development, marketing and customer service for Bitbank, and began working for them after meeting some of his future colleagues at a Bitcoin event at a local university. A believer in cryptocurrency since 2013, Mr. Lizardo Jr. has recently completed the Introduction to Digital Currency course offered by the University of Nicosia and is a film buff in his spare time. He recommends The Big Short, Inside Job and Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It to anyone interested in digital currency.