Hong Kong exchanged more fiat currency for Bitcoin than ever before last week, in the run-up to the tumultuous 70th anniversary of the Chinese state.
Hong Kong: 7 Days, 173 bitcoins
Data from monitoring resource Coin Dance, which tracks volumes on P2P exchanges, confirms that 12.3 million Hong Kong dollars (HKD) changed hands the week of September 28.
The figure easily beats the previous record of 11.6 million, which Localbitcoins users set in January 2018.
In Bitcoin terms, the number is also impressive, with the 173 BTC equivalent the biggest since April 2017.
The figures come as Hong Kong continues to face huge political upheaval. As protests continued for a 17th week, China vowed not to allow what it called “destabilization” of its regime.
Threats had come as protesters staged demonstrations throughout the summer, with the Hong Kong’s finances among those suffering as a result.
Last month, Fitch downgraded the global finance hub’s rating from AA+ to AA.
Setting A Precedent
The territory thus joins the slowly increasing list of areas seeing a boom in Bitcoin trading in 2019. As Bitcoinist reported, expectations are growing that countries as diverse as Zimbabwe and India will follow the trend already set by Venezuela.
In the face of capital restrictions, rampant inflation and political squabbling, Bitcoin has become one of the few areas of relief for holders of the sovereign bolivar (VES).
Coin Dance data likewise showed trading records for Venezuela in September, those levels nonetheless tailing off slightly in subsequent weeks.
Hong Kong meanwhile already holds important status in the crypto world. Given China’s zero-tolerance policy on trading, companies have flocked to the area in order to serve the Asian market.
The issuing entity behind stablecoin Tether, the world’s most-traded cryptocurrency, is among its residents.
Also present is derivatives giant BitMEX, which in August nonetheless opted to block access to its products for Hong Kong residents.
Facing regulatory scrutiny, the platform’s parent company HDR Global Trading said it wished to avoid conflicts of interest.
“For this reason, we have decided to restrict access to BitMEX for users in the jurisdictions in which HDR-affiliated employees and offices are located,” a blog post stated at the time.
More recently, Hong Kong hit the headlines again after a donation to its Free Press Association fell victim to bureaucracy at the hands of payment processor BitPay.
What do you think is the future for Bitcoin in Hong Kong? Let us know in the comments below!
Images via Shutterstock, data from Localbitcoins