In 2019, after China’s leader President Xi Jinping revealed blockchain as one of the most important technologies for the country, Chinese authorities doubled down on the crypto crackdown that began in 2017.
The People’s Bank of China, the nation’s central bank, quickly issued a number of warnings against those involved in cryptocurrency, asserting that those dealing with digital assets would be “disposed of immediately,” adding that ICOs and similar fundraising mechanisms remain risky investments, if not scams entirely.
Then, crypto firms operating in China began to shutter operations, opting to move to different locations to evade the scrutiny of the Chinese government.
Despite this heavy scrutiny, Bitcoin remains a popular topic of discussion among the Chinese public, suggesting there remains public interest in the cryptocurrency, despite a majority of Chinese not having the means or proper connections to buy BTC illegally.
Bitcoin Starts to Trend in China
Bitcoin has been on a hell of a rally over the past few weeks, bounding past key price resistances every few days. Apparently, this rally is so big that it has been drawing quite the Chinese audience.
As pointed out by Twitter user Molly, Bitcoin hitting $10,000 became the fourth hottest topic on Weibo — China’s version of Twitter — on the weekend. This is a crazy feat as Weibo has dozens of millions of users across China.
— Molly (@bigmagicdao) February 9, 2020
Bitcoin’s ability to trend on Weibo was underscored by recent data shared by cryptocurrency data site LongHash. They wrote that Baidu’s search index for the Chinese version of Bitcoin has recently risen sharply, “reaching 39,600, hitting a new high over the past month.”
It seems that this interest comes on the back of a prominent paper in China publishing news of Bitcoin.
Samson Mow, the chief strategy officer of Blockstream, noted that Securities Times China — a “traditional financial media outlet with massive reach — yesterday released an article outlining Bitcoin’s strong rally in 2020 and the surge to $10,000, which is coincidentally what Chinese netizens were talking about on Weibo.
Securities Times China just posted an article about #Bitcoin jumping 45% this year and hitting $10,000. This is a traditional financial media outlet with massive reach. #China #Bullish ???? pic.twitter.com/AJu2MOiQA8
— Samson Mow (@Excellion) February 10, 2020
China’s latest bout of excitement about the leading cryptocurrency comes as the country has moved closer to launching its own digital asset.
It isn’t clear how the launch of the central bank digital currency by the Chinese government will affect Bitcoin adoption and discussion in the country.
America Is Getting Excited About Crypto Too
It isn’t only China that has been getting excited by recent developments in the crypto market.
Anecdotally, this writer has seen more and more mainstream outlet reports about Bitcoin ever since it starting rallying at the start of the year. Case in point, both Mike Novogratz and Tom Lee, two cryptocurrency investors and analysts, have made appearances on mainstream media outlets over the past few weeks.
This mainstream media coverage has also sparked retail interest in Bitcoin from those in the West.
Cryptocurrency investor Alistair Milne noted that Google Trends data for the term “Bitcoin halving” have absolutely exploded higher in the past few weeks, buoyed by lots of discussion and interest around the fundamental event, which analysts say will push the price of BTC even higher.
Google trends data for 'bitcoin halving'
— Alistair Milne (@alistairmilne) February 6, 2020
Also, analyst Crypto Kea noted that the interest in the search term “Buy Bitcoin” recently hit a seven-month high — the highest since June 2019. More specifically, the metric has hit a “10” on a long-term basis, with the metric’s maximum being 100.
1/ Googling for "Buy Bitcoin" just reached a 7 months high (Score 9). The long-term upwards trend is undeniable. The last time the score reached a 10 was:
Nov '13 (bull top),
May '17 (price on parabolic run-up),
Jun '19 (medium-term top)
>Feb '20 (price on parabolic run-up?) pic.twitter.com/tkdXIEvM3Q
— CryptoKea (@CryptoKea) January 20, 2020
He added that the “long-term upwards trend” for this metric, which is correlated with growth in the price of Bitcoin, is “undeniable,” pointing to a logarithmic corridor confirming that over time, more and more people want to buy the cryptocurrency.