Cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs) may be heavily restricted in China, but according to social media, plenty of local investors and miners are feeling the pain from Bitcoin’s precipitous fall this past week.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the value of the world’s most widely cryptocurrency had slipped over 30% in seven days. After falling below $5,000, the token also hit a 13-month low.
On microblogging site Weibo, the hashtag “Bitcoin nosedive” (比特币暴跌) has been read over 92 million times. Posts include pictures and videos of what appear to be spare bitcoin miners being sold off, or piled outside buildings.
It’s unclear when or where the images were taken, but they fall in line with a recent Tencent News report that says China’s small and medium-sized Bitcoin mining enterprises have been hit especially hard. After a price peak of close to $20,000 in December 2017 , the token’s fall in value has given some smaller-scale companies no choice but to sell off equipment.
On Weibo, one purported investor claims he’s lost 85% percent of his assets and asks whether that counts as bankruptcy:
“Sorry, friends who bought crypto with me. I need to adjust and start over from the beginning.”
The post has over 500 likes.
Similar complaints have been found in at least one popular Chinese Bitcoin forum, according to NBD.com. Another investor surnamed Wang refused to reveal the details of his dealings, but did say, “I’m bleeding money” (我亏出血了, our translation).
Of course, China is home to companies that have profited massively off the rise of cryptocurrencies. For the first time this year, 14 blockchain entrepreneurs from mining giant Bitmain, crypto exchanges Binance and OKCoin, and other companies appeared on the Hurun’s annual China Rich List.
At TechCrunch 2018 this past Tuesday, Asia-based crypto experts also predicted a bright future for the industry as a whole. Unfortunately, that big-picture view of the blockchain world may arrive too late to save China’s smaller crypto miners and investors.