Chinese Bitcoin Conference Draws a Crowd

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Over the past week, Bitcoin supporters came out in stride in China, while a major mining equipment maker is revealed to be in hot water. Meanwhile, eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) CEO John Donahoe had positive comments about digital currencies.

China’s first Bitcoin conference draws a crowd, despite government crackdown. Several hundred people attended the Global Bitcoin Summit held in Beijing over the weekend, reports the South China Morning Post. Li Xiaolai, the Bitcoin entrepreneur and educator who organized the conference, told the Post that bitcoin users don’t feel threatened by the central government. The same can’t be said about the CEOs of China’s five major digital currency exchanges — OKCoin, BTC China, BtcTrade, CHBTC, and Huobi — who publicly withdrew from the conference via a joint statement on May 6. The exchanges have faced increased pressure from the People’s Bank of China, which has begun to enforce a December 2013 statement that it doesn’t want banks conducting business with bitcoin exchanges. In the past month, 12 Chinese banks have announced that their accounts can no longer be used to fund bitcoin trading. Meanwhile, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission released a report that predicted “the global bitcoin market will face continued price declines, significantly decreased trading volumes, and threats to its legitimacy” if Chinese regulators prevent Chinese users from accessing bitcoin.

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