The recent Chinese regulations have made it difficult for Bitcoin services to flourish in China. In December 2013, the price of a Bitcoin fell close to 28% in one single day due to the announcement of a ban from People’s Bank of China (PBOC) on banking services that fund Bitcoin Exchanges in mainland China. This also triggered a month long price volatility in the Bitcoin market and created a sense of danger for long term investors.
Bihang is the new Chinese Bitcoin startup that has been started in the times of such heavy regulation from the Chinese government. The timing of the launch has made people question who would launch a Bitcoin website in such a climate?
Bihang is a Chinese application development company that focuses on developing Android apps for Bitcoin services. One of its famous project is Bibao, an Android mobile application for Bitcoin or Litecoin Exchanges. The application works similar to a stock market application, where in you can constantly see updated exchange rates of Bitcoins, Litecoins and major Chinese currencies. Through the Bibao application, you can check your BTC balance, read news about Bitcoins across the Chinese web, set up and receive alerts about Bitcoin price and track exchange rates of major Chinese currencies against Bitcoin. As an introductory offer, the website doesn’t charge any transaction fees and is a free download application on the Google Play store.
Bihang website was launched by its co-founders Jiang Changhao and Wang Hao. Jiang is a former research scientist at Facebook, while Wang used to work at Goldman Sachs. Before launching the business, Jiang first studied the articles by Satoshi Nakamoto, the man behind the concept of bitcoins, and the visions shared by those who were key to the development of the digital currency.
“If one can carry out peer-to-peer transactions without relying on the support of centralized organizations and third-party payment firms, it would be very cool,” Jiang said, citing the property market, and intellectual property rights transfer, as two areas that would benefit from the lack of regulation. “This will be a whole new set of rules for the game, which will turn a lot of traditional trading practices on their head,” Jiang added.
The Bihang team consists of only 10 people who handle most of the technical and administrative work. Due to security threats that new startups and Bitcoin companies in China face, Jiang has chosen to work with a small team.
With his immense technological experience gained at Facebook and his influence in the Chinese technological market, can Jiang turn some heads in the Bitcoin tech community? With China being heavily anti-Bitcoin, it is worth seeing if such startups actually bring in more investors and users to the Bitcoin community and compel the Chinese government to ease the strict regulations on Bitcoin funding by Chinese banks.