In a letter posted on the Chinese bitcoin trading site BTC China CEO Bobby Lee attempted to calm the markets by posting a long, detailed description of the way forward for the company. “As China’s first Bitcoin and Bitcoin trading platform company, we have more than two and half years of operating experience and a good reputation,” he wrote. “I believe you love Bitcoin and will fully understand our decision.”
Lee also clarified that the ban on RMB deposits is temporary and that the People’s Bank Of China saw bitcoin markets as similar to any commodity market and that “ordinary people have the freedom to participate in them at their own risk.” He also announced a number of improvements and changes to the platform aimed at retaining customers.
The company announced a new product called “Currency Lock” that stores bitcoin in “cold storage” with “bank-level” security. Commentators see this as a move to prevent a bitcoin sell-off by skittish investors who could see their wallets disappear while they wait out the RMB ban. They have also added a 0.3% transaction fee to all deposits and withdrawals to discourage rampant bitcoin conversion or transfers and to prevent large accounts from buying or selling speculatively.
In short, it’s business as usual at BTC China, but with a few caveats. The company recently closed a $5 million Series A round from institutional investors Lightspeed China Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners. BTC China was bootstrapped prior to this round, with money put in by its three co-founders, Bobby Lee, Linke Yang, and Xiaoyu Huang. The closure of RMB deposits by the People’s Bank Of China this week precipitated a 50% decline in the currency which has stabilized at about $700 on Mt. Gox.