Written by: Chang Jia (www.8btc.com)
Translated by: James Choi (www.8btc.com)
Edited by: Elizabeth T. Ploshay (Bitcoin Magazine)
Bitcoin has become so popular today in China that even Damas (Chinese aunts who dance in the square) are talking about it. Chances were rare, however, of hearing about Bitcoin in China two years ago. Just two years ago, it was very exciting to meet someone sharing the same interest in Bitcoin.
8BTC.com was like a sloop when first established in 2011. It was not before too long that 8BTC received the first donation from QQagent, the moderator of the Chinese sub-forum of Bitcointalk, as well as the Chinese translator of Satoshi’s Bitcoin White Paper. I never met him in person, yet we still trusted each other and believed the Age of Exploration for Bitcoin was coming. Lao Duan, who was one of the first Bitcoiners, a famous blog writer and the founder of the first Bitcoin fund in China, also joined us later on. The sloop was upgraded to a brig as we updated our domain name and network host. We went through these changes in 2011 together, when the fervor of Bitcoin quickly reached its peak and subsided even quicker. Today QQagent and Lao Duan both left 8BTC due to personal reasons, yet they are always remembered on our About Us page on our website.
In 2013 Bitcoin became famous again in public, while more and more sailors were joining 8BTC. For example, Wuwangbuhuan joined 8BTC as both our pen names appeared in the same report and I was quite impressed by his insight. Really and BigChubbyCat joined 8BTC despite our differing opinions. They were fanatic Hayek advocates while I disagreed with the understanding of Hayek. Shuikongkong, Songhuanping, Atrax and James also then joined 8BTC, as we all participated in the collective writing of the book “Bitcoin- An Open-Source Experience of Money”.
Li Jun is also a special member among our writers, as he initiated the campaign of writing the first book of 8BTC about Bitcoin. I appreciated his plan of co-writing the book and together we invited friends to join the campaign, to finish the book with great enthusiasm. We had no intention of reaching consensus on the content, but rather tried to show different perspectives and thoughts. That’s why you can see different or even opposite views in this book, just like what Bitcoin communities show us — an open self-organized system accepts supports from all sectors to develop.
The same principle applies to the organization of 8BTC. Critics of Bitcoin as well as of myself are invited to join 8BTC. There was a dispute of copyright between 8BTC and its competitors in August 2013, while BigChubbyCat and Hu Yilin objected openly to the BY-NC-SA (Attribution – Non-commercial – Share-alike) agreement of 8BTC. I was quite upset at first but still chose to respect their choice. Consequently they could make a copyright statement to allow redistributing their articles on other websites, or choose not to display the sidebar of WordPress when publishing their articles on 8BTC. By doing so, the advertisements of 8BTC are not displayed in the pages of their articles, meaning that they refuse to receive sponsorship from the revenue generated by the advertisements of the website and they are thus not bounded by the BY-NC-SA agreement.
8BTC is like a Flemish galleon now, with more than thirty writers. Our 8BTC website is run by the enthusiasm of volunteers, as most of us write the articles in our free time. It was Shen Bo who told me that 8BTC had the potential to become a great ship and helped to make a closer connection between 8BTC and the Bitcoin community. Thanks to the assistance of Elizabeth, we are about to establish a long-term cooperation with Bitcoin Magazine. James and I as well as other 8BTC members will write in the columns on Bitcoin Magazine and introduce the information and news from the Chinese Bitcoin community. Meanwhile 8BTC will also help to promote the use of education resources Bitcoin Foundation and Bitcoin Education Committee to China, as well as translate the content of Bitcoin Magazine into Chinese.
In the past two years, some members have left 8BTC while some others have joined us. This is similar to the Bitcoin network where some nodes go offline and new ones go online, yet the system is still running well. We are implementing the idea of distributed autonomous corporation (DAC) unconsciously. Currently Baozougongqinwang, one of our famous members, is planning to set up a digital-money investment fund. Really and Juxie are making their efforts to promote derivative applications of Bitcoin like Mastercoin and Bitshares. Li Jun and Wuwangbuhuan are establishing a consulting firm. Thanks to the relatively loose regulation, the prospect of Bitcoin in China is promising. As a pirate ship in the Age of Exploration for Bitcoin, 8BTC hopes to help its members to reach their own docks.
Changjia is the CEO and Founder of 8btc, blockchain researcher, Sci-Fi writer, editor and co-author of Bitcoin: A Real Yet Virtual Financial World (2014) and Blockchain: From Digital Currency to Credit Society (2016).