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How to Buy Bitcoins in China

By: John West | Last updated: 1/15/21

In this guide, I’ll explore the best options for buying Bitcoin in China. I’ll also cover the legality and popularity of Bitcoin in China.

Buying Bitcoin in China Summary

Due to the clamping down of the Chinese government on cryptocurrency related activities, buying Bitcoin within China is only possible on peer-to-peer basis. Once you have Bitcoin, you can trade it for altcoins on crypto-only exchanges such as Binance.

That’s how to buy Bitcoin in China in a nutshell, If you want a detailed explanation of the process keep on reading, here’s what I’ll cover:

  1. Bitcoin legal status in China
  2. Bitcoin popularity in China
  3. Bitcoin communities in China
  4. Buy Bitcoin in Chinese exchanges
  5. Buy Bitcoin in international exchanges
  6. Bitcoin ATMs in China
  7. Conclusion

1. Is Bitcoin legal in China?

While Bitcoin is basically legal in China, it is not deemed as legal tender, nor does it enjoy the same safety features as the Chinese Yuan. More than that, financial institutions, such as banks, are banned from dealing with any cryptocurrency.

Exchanges and trading platform were banned by regulation, so while it is legal for citizens to own Bitcoin, buying it can only be done on peer-to-peer basis. Additionally, due to an intention to crack down on mining operations, many Bitcoin miners have left China or ceased their operation.

When it comes to actually using your Bitcoin, you may find some difficulty using it within China. The country does not provide any regulatory support to the development of crypto infrastructure.

Furthermore, holding banks and payment processors unable to facilitate any Bitcoin-related transactions. As such it is very difficult to use or do anything with Bitcoin within China, other than trade or hodl it as an investment tool.

2. How Popular is Bitcoin in China?

In February 2017, the Chinese regulatory bodies joined forces and started a crackdown on Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges, leading to a massive drop in BTC price globally. However, Bitcoin still has noticeable market activity in China, despite the various regulatory limitations imposed by the government.

Shutting down the exchanges did not stop Chinese citizens from trading Bitcoin, it only moved them to use peer-to-peer platforms, as can be seen on LocalBitcoins’ trading volume:

China Localbitcoins CNY volume

Interest in Bitcoin within China is in somewhat general decline, presented below by Google Trends for searches of the term ‘Bitcoin’. This can be attributed to the falling prices of the asset and increasing regulatory limitations.

Google Trends China

3. Main Chinese Bitcoin Communities

Most of the Chinese Bitcoin economy is within the social-weave. The government having limited citizens severely has resulted in telecommunications companies banning cryptocurrency and blockchain related accounts.

While Bitcoin channels can be found, it’s difficult for a non-Chinese speaker to do so. Here is one thread from BitcoinTalk.

4. China-based Bitcoin Exchanges

As of September 2017, the Chinese government has proceeded to crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges, ICO platforms, and has blocked all domestic exchanges from operating. Therefore, no exchanges are operational within China and many big Chinese exchanges have relocated their operations overseas.

5. International Exchanges available in China

Government-imposed regulations did not stop at the domestic Chinese market, as the country has proceeded to ban most major cryptocurrency exchanges from interacting with their citizens. As a result, you can’t access international fiat exchanges, such as Coinbase or Kraken.

However, it may be possible to send coins to crypto-only exchanges, such as Binance, for conversion into different types of crypto.

6. How many Bitcoin ATMs are there in China?

There are no Bitcoin ATMs available in China.

7. Conclusion

The Chinese Bitcoin market was quick to adopt cryptocurrencies. By 2017, most of the mining power came from China in actual hashrate and mining hardware alike. Unfortunately, the massive amount of government limitations have led the ecosystem to a halt.

No bank or payment processor can help you purchase Bitcoin using fiat. To buy Bitcoin in China, you need to engage with the local crypto population on peer-to-peer basis (e.g. LocalBitcoins, Paxful, etc.). Another option available for Bitcoin holders in China is to trade it for altcoins on crypto-only exchanges.

That’s it! If you have any personal experience or comment on Bitcoin in China, let me know it in the comments section below.

Having delved into futures trading in the past, my intrigue in financial, economic, and political affairs eventually led me to a striking realization: the current debt-based fiat system is fundamentally flawed. This revelation prompted me to explore alternative avenues, including investments in gold and, since early 2013, Bitcoin. While not extensively tech-savvy, I've immersed myself in Bitcoin through dedicated study, persistent questioning, hands-on experience with ecommerce and marketing ventures, and my stint as a journalist. Writing has always been a passion of mine, and presently, I'm focused on crafting informative guides to shed light on the myriad advantages of Bitcoin, aiming to empower others to navigate the dynamic realm of digital currencies.

View all Posts by Alexander Reed

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7 comments on “China”

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    1. Nick Marinoff

      You may have some trouble with this considering China has cancelled all local exchanges and is coming down hard on all crypto activity. Thus, you may not find it easy to access BTC in the country. Having said that, you could probably find an exchange or wallet service that can transfer the funds over. You would need the other person’s wallet address. Simply select that address as the receiving address in your account and initiate the transfer. The funds should show up in their account in the next few days.

  1. Have you heard of this exchange : ? I had a couple BTC in that platform & my withdrawal action was denied because the cryptocurrency I have are prohibited funds bought from China…
    The platform stated that China is a blacklisted country in their platform as of August 4th 2019.
    does it make sense for them to restrict me from withdrawing?

    1. hi Owen,

      I’ve never heard of that exchange, no. So you’re saying you deposited BTC to this exchange but now the exchange won’t let you withdraw them, because they’re “from China”?

      If so, it’s a scam exchange. BTC is not “from” anywhere besides the internet.

      1. I’m having the same problem. I had someone send me some btc on this platform and now it’s telling me that in order for me to withdraw those funds I have to make a deposit of $281.08 first. I never heard of this platform until this person brought it to my attention. Shouldn’t I be able to withdraw my btc when ever I want on any platform as long as I have btc available?

        1. Hi Rico and Owen,

          I’ve just noticed that Ivibit has been cloned from a well-known and legit exchange, – if you visit that site, you’ll see that IviBit has even copied its logo!

          From this, it’s clear that Ivibit is a pure scam. Under no circumstances should you send them ANY funds at all.

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