The political turmoil in Hong Kong continued on October 1st, the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. The protests have continued even though previous proposals permitting extradition to mainland China were abandoned in June. Amid all this, Bitcoin’s volume on P2P trading platform LocalBitcoins surged to an all-time high in the past week.
Bitcoin’s Trading Volume Reaches All-Time High
The cryptocurrency boom of late 2017 and early 2018 delivered immense Bitcoin trading volume numbers in Hong Kong. As Bitcoin’s value decreased in the following months, so did the trading volume. However, the weekly volume for BTC trading against the Hong Kong dollar on LocalBitcoins hit a new all-time high last week. The recent volume of almost $12,300,000 surpassed the 2017/2018 boom.
Protesters in Hong Kong are attempting to obtain further distance from mainland China. Some people avoid using prepaid Octopus e-payment cards, feeling monitored by the apps they use. Bitcoin has emerged as an alternative because of its peer-to-peer nature. It’s also widely considered to be an anonymous payment method, that’s not exactly the case. While there is no inherent KYC mechanism, every transaction is sent to and from a Bitcoin address. If a particular address is linked to a person, all transactions associated with that address will be as well.
The Situation in Hong Kong
The 1st of October 2019 was supposed to be a day for celebration, as it was the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. However, with over 20,000 active protesters in Hong Kong, the situation escalated quickly. A young person was reportedly shot in the chest with a live bullet, and a total of 269 arrests were made that day.
The “One Country, Two Systems” method of governing mainland China and Hong Kong appears to be heading south. The latter has its own legal system and judiciary, but its people are turning against mainland China. A recent cyberattack was launched from a network of computers in China aimed at a Telegram group used by protesters. Shortly afterward, the Hong Kong police arrested the administrator of another Telegram chat group consisting of over 20,000 members.
Hong Kong’s protests are taking a new approach towards the digital world. Technology is being used by the authorities and protesters alike. Blockchain technology appears to be the next step, as illustrated by the recent spike in Bitcoin’s trading volume in Hong Kong.