Bitcoin had a great 2016. The cryptocurrency rallied 120% to $952, threatening to break the $1,000 mark for the first time. While bitcoin has seen a consistent bid throughout the year, its 57% gain (in US dollar terms) over the past three months has been particularly impressive.
So what’s behind the move?
In his latest edition of “Greed & Fear,” CLSA’s Christopher Wood notes, “Daily turnover in Shanghai-based BTC China, the world’s largest bitcoin exchange by volume, has risen from around Rmb1bn in late September to a peak of Rmb27.8bn on 22 December and Rmb16.4bn on Wednesday (see Figure 11) while the Bitcoin price has risen by 70% over the past three months to Rmb6,927.”
It’s China 1, USA 0 when it comes to so-called “economic warfare.”
As China has risen to become the world’s No. 2 economy, it has repeatedly used its business and financial clout to get what it wants on the world stage, say foreign policy experts Robert Blackwill and Jennifer Harris.
When Norway gave Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, China dramatically scaled back its salmon purchases from Norway and halted trade talks. When tensions escalated between the Philippines and China over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea, China let Philippine bananas rot in its ports.
BEIJING — China’s Communist Party brought to an end the decades-old “one child” policy on Thursday, when leaders announced that all married couples would be allowed to have two children in a bid to reverse the rapid aging of the labor force.
The announcement came after the party’s Central Committee concluded a four-day meeting in a heavily guarded hotel in western Beijing where the committee approved proposals for China’s next five-year development plan, which starts next year.
“Improve the demographic development strategy,” said the official communiqué, or summary, of the meeting issued through the Xinhua news agency. “Comprehensively implement a policy that couples can have two children, actively taking steps to counter the aging of the population.”
A row over changing the software that produces bitcoins could split the virtual currency, core developers say.
Bitcoin XT, a new version, is currently being recommended by the currency’s chief scientist, Gavin Andresen.
And its developer, Mike Hearn, says its adoption essential to ensure the currency can cope with growing demand.
But some, including a large number of bitcoin miners in China, are resisting XT because of how it might affect control over the currency.
Bitcoin’s blockchain – a digital ledger of all transactions made with the currency – is currently made up of 1MB blocks.
Bitcoin XT would enable these blocks to grow to 8MB.
China stocks plunged again on Wednesday, even as regulators worked to contain a crisis that has wiped trillions of dollars off the country’s stock markets.
The Shanghai Composite plunged 8% at the market open on Wednesday, and spent the entire day in negative territory before closing down 5.9%. The vast majority of stocks listed on the benchmark index shed 10%, the maximum limit shares are allowed to fall before being halted.
The smaller Shenzhen Composite lost 2.5%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 5.8%.
“At the moment there is a mood of panic in the market and a large increase in irrational dumping of shares, causing a strain of liquidity in the stock market,” China Securities Regulatory Commission said in statement.
Since June 12, the Shanghai Composite has lost an unnerving 32%. The Shenzhen market, which has more tech companies and is often compared to America’s Nasdaq index, is down 41% over the same period.
When I was visiting Paine Field recently, I caught a glimpse of a special livery from Air China. Yesterday the Boeing 777-300ER was delivered to the airline and Boeing shared some background information on the unique design.The aircraft displays 40 different smiling Chinese faces to represent the role that Chinese aviation has played in bringing China to the world.
Frank Lavin is a guy with lots of guanxi—which loosely translated means “connections” in Chinese. The Ohio native has served as U.S. ambassador to Singapore, led trade negotiations with China while working at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and held senior posts in the Asian offices of Bank of America (BAC), Citibank, and public-relations firm Edelman. When Lavin published a business guide on how to conquer overseas markets last year, his friend Karl Rove blogged a positive review.
Lavin is using those contacts to build an unusual type of export business. Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Akron, Export Now’s 15 employees handle customs clearance, trademark registration, order fulfillment and other back-end tasks for 24 U.S. companies. Rather than negotiate for shelf space with Chinese retailers as a traditional distributor would, Export Now runs its own virtual storefront on Alibaba Group’s Tmall.com, an Amazon.com (AMZN)-like e-tailing colossus with nearly 500 million registered Chinese users. “China is the fastest-growing consumer market in the world, but it’s still viewed as largely inaccessible for all but the top-tier U.S. companies or global [multinationals],” says Lavin, whose outfit also has an office in Shanghai. “We have a department store in the shopping mall, and any U.S. company can have shelf space in the department store.”
While we’re watching the Olympics, several hundred thousand workers from Qidong protest an open ended waste water pipe being routed to the sea…
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The Kokaistudios ‘Yu Bar’ is a lavish rooftop retreat that overlooks the beautiful city of Shanghai, China. Located near the banks of the Lupu River, this sky-high lounge provides patrons a view that is breathtaking and gorgeous.
“The government is trying to strike a better balance between stabilizing growth in the short term and adjusting structure in the long term,” said Peng Wensheng, chief economist in Beijing at China International Capital Corp., who worked at the International Monetary Fund and Hong Kong’s central bank. Total stimulus this year may be less than one- third the size of the 5.4 trillion yuan fiscal and monetary firepower of 2009, Peng said.