In mid-June, China’s Sichuan province was home to an event organized by BitKan, one of China’s oldest Bitcoin-based businesses.
Around 130 people, including over-the-counter (OTC) traders, mining factory owners, exchanges, bitcoin application firms and other related Chinese companies, attended this event held in a Chinese-style teahouse. The theme for the evening was “OTC trading."
A Prominent Location
Sichuan, a mountainous province in southeastern China, provided a picturesque setting for the event. It is also the home to a growing number of bitcoin mining sites. Several bitcoin mining operations have emerged in power stations nestled in rural Sichuan hillsides and there is also a significant mining pool presence situated near a prominent hydropower station.
Access to this hydropower is a primary reason why Sichuan is so popular for mining. Electricity is the fuel necessary for mining machines and a major cost for of bitcoin miners. The price of electricity in Sichuan is relatively affordable and power is especially abundant during the region’s rainy season. These saving underscore the importance of mining in this region for both the Chinese and the world’s entire Bitcoin market.
BitKan, the event sponsor, was founded in 2013 and delivers an all-in-one product, with both OTC trading and mining machine capabilities, two important features for miners. Moreover, BitKan’s collaborative exchange allows the company to engage users and develop markets, while inviting them to buy and sell Bitcoin via the BitkKan app, which is available on Google Play and the App Store.
Featured guests at this event included Zhao Dong , Long Wang, Peter Ng, Zane, Chandler Guo and Jihan Wu. Companies in attendance included Bitmain, Bixin (formerly HaoBTC), Bitcoin.com, F2pool, BTCC, ViaBTC, Bitbank and Bitcoin Magazine.
Among the topics discussed were:
- OTC and the future of trading
- The risks of OTC trading and how to avoid them
- The prospect of OTC trading under Chinese government regulation
- The difference between exchanges and OTC, including their respective advantages
- The state of OTC trading outside of China
Fanny Yu, COO of BitKan, discussed the “socialized OTC” market while Peter Ng, an OTC trader, shared some his experience with OTC trading. Yu offered an overview of the global OTC trading scale and how OTC trading has developed in China over the years.
During the panel discussion, BitKan founder Edward Liu was joined by Peter Ng and fellow OTC traders Long Wang and Zhao Dong. They explored two major topics, the first of which centered on scams and issues in the OTC market. Dong said that, for now, the two major problems in this space are money laundering and payment scams. He noted that larger market volumes mean less risk because large volume OTC trading requires strict “know-your-customer” (KYC) compliance.
Next, the panel engaged in a discussion about the relationship and difference between spot trading and OTC trading. Wang remarked that the benefit of OTC is that it can provide abundant depth. He went on to extol its suitability and stability for large-volume trading, especially for locations that don't have large volume exchanges. Ng added that spot trading and OTC trading are bonded and closely interrelated. He believes that a 50/50 split between the two is ideal. The reason why Chinese exchanges have larger percentage, he said, is because the retail investor's number is huge in China.
In an interview following the event, Leon Liu, BitKan’s CEO and co-founder, said that miners need to stay informed about their machines at all times.
“Our (BitKan) app has a mining pool monitoring function,” he said. “It has two useful features: information and alert.”
He noted that the phone can be used to check machine status anytime, anywhere. If the machine isn’t working, said Liu, the person will know about it immediately, thereby avoiding significant losses.
“The app has a unique, simple interface for the most popular pool,” Liu explained. “It can collect different pool data together on one page. Users can see the following information: current difficulty income, next difficulty income, hash rate, paid, unpaid. In the future, we plan to add more information about mining, bitcoin network.”
Liu concluded by saying that the monitor can be set up by going to the BitKan website, selecting the pool, and then entering an access code, pool username and secret code.
“Very simple,” he said. “Do it once and have information at your phone any time you need it.”
He also said that most miners in China use the BitKan app to monitor their mining pool hashrate.
“We have the only app that provides this feature in China, maybe in the world,” Liu concluded.
BitKan officials said that the primary purpose for holding the Meetup was, that as a leading OTC platform in China, the company hopes to develop this market in a friendly way, with all traders and users in the market working in cooperation.