China ICO ban hints at state-controlled cryptos, says Lee

The ban of ICOs in China may be a confirmation of what the cryptocurrency community has been suspecting for some time now: that states may end up launching and running digital crypto versions of their fiat money systems.

However, emergence of state-issued and state-controlled cryptocurrencies will limit decentralization of cryptocurrencies, said CEO of BTCC, Bobby Lee at the two-day technical conference Scaling Bitcoin in Stanford, California last weekend.

He said,

“Today Bitcoin accounts are freely generated; those will be assigned to you and assigned identity. I don’t think we’ll be close to a decentralized cryptocurrency”.

Lee said that China still doesn’t want any ICOs or cryptocurrencies for now but that Bitcoin community should not give in to the developments.

“I don’t think Bitcoin needs to cater to any culture or nationality of its users,” he said. “Bitcoin is global; it cuts across all language and cultural barriers.”

Chinese government banned ICOs this September although did not make any formal ban. The market responded by dropping below $3,000 after reaching an all-time high of $4,000 just weeks before the shutting down, the price started shooting up again.

Related CoverageCryptocurrency exchanges are officially ban in China

He also defended Bitcoin against claims that it was too expensive saying buyers should consider its potential and not the current price when deciding to buy.

He explains,

“The last year, Bitcoin has proven itself”. “What I tell my friends now, is as long as Bitcoin is under $10,000; it’s your chance to get in. For those of you [who] think it’s too expensive, if you look in the rear view mirror, Bitcoin has gone up 10 times in the last year”.

He said the increase in price — which is more than 600 percent on the year. It is not a bubble but evidence that the protocol was proving its worth as the best way of holding value in the digital age. Buying Bitcoin was like buying gold at 98 percent discount according to him.

He said Bitcoin does not derive its value from endorsement, acceptance or regulation from governments. Thus, due to its advantages over fiat money.

“Bitcoin’s value comes from the inherent failures, limitations and inconveniences of the fiat money system,” Lee said.

He said that novice investors make four major mistakes they should not, namely “indecisiveness”. ” And not buying enough”. “Thus, selling after a small gain and selling during a panic crash”.


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David Kariuki is a journalist who has a wide range of experience reporting about modern technology solutions including cryptocurrencies. A graduate of Kenya's Moi University, he also writes for Hypergrid Business, Cryptomorrow, and Cleanleap, and has previously worked for Resources Quarterly and Construction Review magazines.

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