Bobby Lee, CEO and co-founder of BTC China (BTCC) – the first and largest Bitcoin exchange in China that offers the highest liquidity – recently admitted in an interview with CNBC that it is only “a matter of time” before China lifts its ban on cryptocurrency exchanges.
Lee, who is behind what was once China’s longest running trading operations was forced to shut down BTCC’s China-facing trading operations on Sep. 30 after the Chinese government announced a widespread ban that made it illegal for Chinese mainlanders to exchange digital money unless they operate offshore.
In the interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, Lee said:
“One day, I think it is possible that they’ll lift the ban, and they might reinstitute it and license it. But frankly speaking, I don’t know what kind of a timeframe that is – whether it is a few months, a few years, or even a few decades – it’s hard to tell.”
Lee also drew a comparison with the one-child policy in China, which was enforced for over decades but was eventually abolished by the Chinese government. “Nothing is ever permanent” he emphasized.
The Chinese government’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies happened in September 2017, with authorities forbidding the trading of Bitcoin as well as other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) after the People’s Bank of China decided that such activities might negatively affect the world’s second-largest economy.
Ever since the ban, other Asian countries have followed in China’s footsteps, with South Korea allegedly set to ban cryptocurrency trading amongst under-aged traders as well as non-citizens.
However, Lee believes that the cryptocurrency market will survive and thrive despite facing regulatory measures by various governments. “The more the governments and the regulators tried to put a squeeze on bitcoin, the more we see that bitcoin is actually resilient,” Lee told CNBC, citing the token’s bull run after the China ban.
What will happen next?
If the Chinese government decides to lift the ban on cryptocurrencies in the near future, we will expect to see a huge price appreciation in the cryptocurrency market. More specifically, China-based coins like NEO will definitely see a boost in their prices.
Meanwhile, Lee believes that the price of Bitcoin still has a lot of potential to grow, due to the halving in Bitcoin block size, which occurs every 210,000 blocks.
“Today we’re at only 1,800 of newly mined bitcoin of every day,” Lee said. “That used to be 7,200 as recently as five years ago. So in just a few short, maybe two and a half more years, we’ll see the supply go down again to only 900 bitcoins a day. So if you talk about multi-million dollars of inflow with only a new supply of 900 bitcoins a day, you can imagine where prices could be at in three, five, or 10 years,” he added.