The rally in bitcoin has come out of China, which has accounted for 98% of bitcoin trading in the past six months. China is also home to about two-thirds of the world’s bitcoin mining power. The Phase Transition spike in bitcoin is very alarming, for it flies right in the face of government attempts to eliminate currency. The Chinese have been buying bitcoin onshore, selling it offshore for another currency, and then moving the money to a bank account. This is how the Chinese individuals can take cash out of the country, circumventing all regulation.
The Chinese government has been strengthening requirements for citizens by converting their yuan. With Trump coming into office, China fears that lower values for the yuan will become a trade war even if the government is not actively trying to depreciate the yuan for trade. Conversions of yuan are already subject to a quota or currency controls in an effort to curb capital outflows.
Bitcoin has been the escape method for capital fleeing China. With the looming trade war on the horizon, the Chinese government will have absolutely NO CHOICE but to come in and regulate bitcoin as its citizens now account for 98% of all trading. From a regulatory perspective, the days of passive treatment of bitcoin may come to an end. Bitcoin has soared only because it has been the mechanism to obtain foreign exchange and take capital out of China. This could easily be considered an illegal operation, such as money laundering, to justify closing that window.
Of course, you have the zealots who preach bitcoin as the alternative to the dollar that they cannot shut down. All they need to do is declare bitcoins illegal and the PRESUMPTION of being in bitcoin is a PRESUMPTION of being a criminal. They are already using terms like “CASH IS FOR CRIMINALS” and if you have a few thousand in cash, they just confiscate it presuming you are criminal under Civil Asset Forfeiture without having to prove you committed a crime or charging you.
Keep in mind we are dancing with the devil. There are no rules — just ruthless self-interest. They will do whatever it takes to survive. They will not relinquish power willingly.