The head of China’s top Bitcoin exchange didn’t expect the Chinese government would act so soon in taking its first step to regulating the digital currency, but said he welcomed controls.
”I was surprised they were so fast,” said Bobby Lee, CEO of BTC China. He claims his company is the largest online marketplace in the world where people can buy and trade bitcoins.
Lee was speaking on the sidelines of a presentation he gave at Stanford University on Thursday evening about Bitcoin in China. They were his first public comments since the Chinese government announced earlier in the day that it would not let banks trade in bitcoins and would require domestic traders to use their real names when registering with exchanges.
Bitcoins can be thought of as digital tokens, bought and sold through online exchanges like BTC China. The currency is based on cryptographic algorithms and people either buy bitcoins with conventional currency or have their computers perform complex mathematical tasks to “mine” bitcoins. Around 12 million bitcoins have been mined to date and about 150 new coins are created every hour. That rate is continually slowing as the currency approaches its theoretical maximum of 21 million bitcoins.