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Digital currency bitcoin gains virtual interest (2)

By Wu Yiyao in Shanghai  (China Daily)

13:48, June 03, 2013

"I don't care much about how much money I can earn through trading bitcoins or how many things they can buy for me. I care more about how the system is developed and accepted by a wider audience," said Chang.

As a decentralized virtual currency that rules out the possibility of manipulation by the authorities over exchange rates, bitcoins are exposed to a fluctuation in value by speculators, especially when the current total market value is no more than $2 billion.

By May 7, as many as 11,123,450 bitcoins had been issued. As many as 882,165 coins flew from one account to another in the 24 hours between May 6 and May 7, according to data from, one of the biggest bitcoin trading platforms in the world.

The volatility of the bitcoin price is understandable because the total market value is small and it is fragile in the face of speculators when they inject big sums of money into trading. The fluctuation of the bitcoin exchange rate may be problematic to some investors or holders of bitcoins, said Chang.

"However, I don't think this situation will last long. If the market value of bitcoins expands to a certain degree, it is strong enough to present a stable price," said Chang.

For many bitcoiners in China, the acceptance of bitcoins can be further expanded and more groups of people can get involved in the digital currency system.

Guo Wei, a shoe dealer who announced that he would accept bitcoin payments, said currently most of his revenue is still from online bank payments and cash.

"Some people ask how to pay with bitcoins just out of curiosity but pay with cash or bank cards," he said.

Sun Yan, a 22-year-old holder of bitcoins in Wuhan, said he believes that even if bitcoins fail to achieve widespread recognition and survive in the long term, it is meaningful in that it pushes forward the development of digital currency. Sun holds three coins, all of which were bought from online traders.

"Just as bank cards in many ways have replaced banknotes, digital currencies will do the same thing. All we need is a wider network that accepts digital currency," said Sun.

Risks remain

Chang said he and many other bitcoiners have been aware of the potential risks of holding bitcoins. One possibility is that governments may decide bitcoins are illegal and conduct a crackdown on the exchange platform.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:WangXin、Chen Lidan)

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