It may be another two to three years before Bitcoin is regulated in China, says Bobby Lee, head of major bitcoin exchange BTCC.
Bitcoin has for a long time, been perceived to be an enabler for capital outflow in China given its soaring value and anonymity.
Bobby’s comments come at a time when chinese capital outflow has been a particularly touchy subject - the most recent announcement coming from the Chinese currency regulator, imposing extra requirements for citizens to buy foreign exchange.
Bobby Lee - in his comments with Reuters, said while he and his company has not received any direct pressure on Bitcoin’s (and indirectly, his platform’s) perceived role in circumventing capital controls, Lee said he recently had a meeting with the Shanghai office of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), who came to better understand the platform and its operations.
In Beijing, the PBOC reportedly told two of China's other major bitcoin exchanges, not to mention the depreciating yuan when advertising their platforms.
However, according to Lee, while it is possible to buy bitcoin with yuan and exchange it with foreign currency - it’s generally not a viable option because of costs. Bitcoin is particularly expensive when buying with renminbi, he noted.
Lee says there wasn’t any new or planned rules regarding bitcoin discussed in his latest meeting, estimating it will be two to three years before China regulates bitcoin.
The price of bitcoin rose $8.62 on Tuesday, to US$908.53.