Business as usual for Chinese crypto traders despite tough new laws

Chinese building in front of partially hidden bitcoin logo

Chinese traders worried about the country’s brutal new crypto laws have reportedly been told that they can still buy Bitcoin and Ethereum through their banks — provided they keep transactions small and don’t write anything down.

On May 18 the country announced new measures in the form of a ban on banks and payment providers offering cryptocurrency-related services.

It was feared that the new laws would decimate markets and mining in China, and the announcement triggered a slump that wiped $1 trillion from crypto’s market cap worldwide.

But despite the bleak projections, it appears, for now at least, to be business as usual. Reuters discovered that it was still possible for Chinese traders to buy on overseas exchanges via banks or OTC markets.

Chinese crypto traders should keep their transactions small

During their investigations, Reuters spoke to a trader known only as ‘Mr Li’ who offered hope to worried crypto fans.

Li said, “If you have Bitcoin or Ethereum, and I want to buy some, I can send money through banks. Just don’t write down anything like Bitcoin or Ethereum.”

Li, who sells crypto on behalf of miners, went on to caution traders, adding, “Of course, banks have internal risk-management. If the transaction volume is too big, you might be caught.”

A crypto ban may not just be difficult, it may be impossible

These new toughened regulations aren’t the first time China has tried to ban cryptocurrency.

[Read more: Bitfinex shareholder and ‘OTC king’ in Chinese court on criminal charges, docs]

2013 and in 2017 saw similar measures put in place. But despite the appetite to crack down on cryptocurrency in the country, some believe that it may not be possible.

Founder and CEO of crypto app Ballet, Bobby Lee told Reuters that he believed the measures are nothing more than an attempt to protect retail investors from volatile markets.

He then went on to say that it would be virtually impossible to identify crypto-specific banking activity amongst the millions of daily transactions taking place in China.

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