Shanghai Gets China’s First Bitcoin ATM Amid Bank Crackdown

Anyone in China with a smartphone can now act as a bitcoin ATM with BTC China’s new mobile app that lets users buy and sell bitcoins in different major world currencies.

Digital currency exchange BTC China has installed mainland China's first bitcoin ATM in Shanghai. Photo: Shanghaiist

Digital currency exchange BTC China has installed mainland China's first bitcoin ATM in Shanghai. Photo: Shanghaiist

BTC China, one of the leaders among world’s biggest bitcoin exchanges, introduced first ATM that uses bitcoin in China and also created an online app, that allows its users to trade bitcoin using smartphones, bypassing the local bank restrictions toward cryptocurrencies.

The Wall Street Journal stated, that Mt. Gox, Japan-based exchange, has assigned for liquidation abandoning its plans to resuscitate under bankruptcy protection.

Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and others do differ from simple money (cash). First of all, they are generated by computers and as a result are not linked to any central bank or government.

Moreover, bitcoins can be exchanged through most of the file transfer mechanisms on your computer for different goods and services. Nevertheless, there is a big number of concern about digital currency, as regulatory agencies are afraid that bitcoin can be used for money laundering, as well as purchase of weapons and drugs.

That’s why virtual currency has been moved under control and several government restrictions.

In December, the PBOC (The People’s Bank of China) made action toward the prevention of money laundering, banning financial institutions from selling and buying in bitcoins.

Nevertheless, Chinese government does not prohibit trading by individuals. Last week two exchanges announced that their accounts at domestic Chinese banks would be shut down by the local lenders.

Bobby Lee, BTC China’s chief executive, said that his exchange is still working and still has not received any notice from the bank about the potential shut down of his accounts. “News reports said it would be shut down by April 15. It’s April 16 and nothing has happened,” he said.


The new physical ATM is located in a café called IC Coffee Shop in Shanghai’s Pudong Zhangjiang technology park area. The machine allows people to trade bitcoin directly from the exchange for cash (yuan) inserted into the machine. However you are not able to withdraw any cash. Moreover, no banking system is involved in the ATM.

Cheng Mengyao, café manager, said there had been a regular stream of people to use the ATM for small transactions since it was placed in the café.

The new app allows its users to make transactions on a direct peer-to-peer basis. There is no banking system involved as well as no exchange, it means transactions are made only between individuals and a liquidity s limited to the number of cash they own.

It was announced by PBOC on April 11 that Chinese government is not going to ban bitcoin. However, PBOC thinks bitcoin is not a real currency. Online retailers have also stopped accepting the digital currency.

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