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China Bitcoin

John McAfee Said Top Executives From the Major Bitcoin Exchanges Weren't Allowed To Leave China (wsj.com) 96

An anonymous reader shares a report: China's widening crackdown on bitcoin trading resulted in a travel ban of sorts for two executives from the country's largest commercial bitcoin exchanges, which regulators are closing down. From a report: On Thursday, top executives of two Chinese digital currency exchanges who were scheduled to speak at an industry conference in Hong Kong didn't show up and their sessions were canceled. The event's organizer, a bitcoin-trading firm called Bitkan, didn't provide a reason. The two executives were Lin Li, chief executive of Huobi, and Justin Pan, who the event organizer listed as being the chief operating officer of OKCoin. The two-day conference was originally supposed to be held in Beijing but its organizers last week decided to shift the venue to Hong Kong after Chinese regulators earlier this month ordered digital-currency exchanges to wind down their operations. Software pioneer and former fugitive John McAfee -- a high-profile but controversial character in the bitcoin industry -- told conference attendees on Wednesday that top executives from the major bitcoin exchanges are currently not allowed to leave China.
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John McAfee Said Top Executives From the Major Bitcoin Exchanges Weren't Allowed To Leave China

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  • by SethJohnson ( 112166 ) on Thursday September 21, 2017 @11:09AM (#55238907) Homepage Journal
    I'm sorry, but you lost me when in the headline just after:

    "John McAfee said.."

    The best use of my time and attention is to keep walking down the sidewalk when I hear the delusional rantings of a person probably off his or her meds. No eye contact. Just keep walking.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by clonehappy ( 655530 )

      Cool! And when I hear someone brand someone else's opinions and/or beliefs as "delusional rantings", I know that their brainwashing has been completed and I can safely keep on walking down the street knowing that person has nothing of value to add other than the "party line", which I can easily obtain from Fox or CNN without having to play Chinese telephone on the Internet.

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        LOL, picking John McAfee as the hill you want to die on is hilarious. Next you'll be telling us Martin Shkreli is actually a pretty cool dude.
        • by HBI ( 604924 )

          The problem isn't whether Shkreli is an asshole or not, or whether McAfee is a weirdo. The problem is branding everything someone says as invalid because you think the person is an asshole. There are lots of sources of information, none are utterly trustworthy, and each needs evaluation independently.

          Branding people as not worth listening to based on ad hominem attacks identifies you as someone unable to differentiate information based on the source. Either you have a personal animus or you're too dumb t

          • The problem is branding everything someone says as invalid because you think the person is an asshole.

            Which is not what GP nor I were saying, so thanks for the strawman.

            And, one more time: John McAfee? The guy who's basically been on a conspiracy-ranting, drug-fueled, run from the authorities for the last decade? That's really who you want to use as a backstop for a pedantic point? Fuck me, I'm getting tired of this aspie shit.

            and each needs evaluation independently.

            I'd give you shit for
            • I think you should relax and enjoy the show

            • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

              You all can crap on all you want to try to preserve bit coin value. All reports seem to indicate, the government of China let it run for as long as it did, so they go ban it, grab the data and go on a massive crime hunt by mining that data. No matter what anyone says, the real bad news for bit coin dabblers, those seeking to finance criminal activity in China are in deep trouble. I wonder if the Government of China will allow them to buy that one bullet prior to the organ 'er' recovery table with bit coin.

          • So you start by saying that the problem is branding everything someone says as invalid, then you finish by doing exactly that. Useful, isn't it? Nobody has the time or resources to independently vet every utterance. If someone has repeatedly made outlandish claims, then it's expedient to start by assuming their next claim is suspect.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            When you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you're the asshole.

          • by Holi ( 250190 )
            So I should ignore a person's history and just believe everything they say? No, No I do not think that is a good idea.
          • HBI- Please regale us with the 'trustworthy' source of information that highlights John McAfee as a stable, intelligent, truthful human being. I'm all ears.
          • by fedos ( 150319 )

            The problem is that John McAfee is known to be insane and disingenuous. There's good reason to just dismiss everything he says.

            According to your idiotic reasoning, we should carefully consider everything that Alex Jones spews.

      • Clonehappy- come now. Has the public consciousness forgotten this old McAfee chestnut from last year?

        McAfee Says He Lied About iPhone Hacking Method To Get Public Attention [slashdot.org]

        Calling the man "batshit crazy" is not a criticism. He aspires to the title [adweek.com].

        Whether he's crazy or pretending to be crazy is a non-issue. Delusional rantings are still unworthy of our attention whether they are intentionally delusional or authentic.
      • by Megol ( 3135005 )

        You just provided another example of delusional ranting...

    • Sure... yet, ironically, Mr. McAfee still has gobs more credibility than whoever the fuck you are...

  • Why is John McAfee considered former fugitive? Did he return to Belize?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is just an AC story, so take it for what you will, but I've heard of more than one incident of China throwing many years of "sedition" charges at a some startup's exec who is on their soil. A deal gets signed, and the charges get dropped. Not surprising that China wants to corner this market by force... they can do a lot of stuff with 51% of miner control.

    • The rule in China is you must get permission to leave. The default answer is "no".

      If the government has any issue with you, real or imagined, or you don't have an acceptable reason to go, the government will rubber stamp your request with "NO" and you don't get to go.

      Is it any surprise the BitCoin guys/gals are not getting to leave?

      • There was actually a big crackdown on cryptocurrencies this past week in China. Officials in businesses involving bitcoin are not permitted to leave China until the investigation is complete. So yes, these guys are specifically singled out at the moment. Duh.

        • My point is that your average citizen of China isn't granted permission to leave by default. You need a good reason as defined by the state. The only thing that's really changed is that the bitcoin business is no longer seen as legitimate so leaving China on "business travel" is no longer valid, at least for this kind of business.

          The notable exception was BEFORE now, when they where allowed to leave.

          I know, I know... You say toe-mate-on I say too-mot-oh, you say poe-tate-oh, I say poo-tot-oh.

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Thursday September 21, 2017 @11:13AM (#55238931)

    Did anyone seriously think for a second that a notoriously totalitarian government was going to let an underground currency designed to bypass government authorities continue to be used in their country for long with no repercussions? Shit, even non-authoritarian governments are cracking down on Bitcoin.

    • The only thing the Chinese Government has done, is chased away any possibility of control, by driving BC underground, where it will thrive.

      Unless the Chinese Government starts huge mining operations in order to actually co-opt the entire blockchain processing, they haven't done anything other than annoy people.

    • by HiThere ( 15173 ) <charleshixsn@NOSPAM.earthlink.net> on Thursday September 21, 2017 @11:29AM (#55239031)

      Which non-authoritarian governments? Actually, which governments that currently exist are non-authoritarian? I'd believe it of Iceland, and possibly Sweden or Denmark. Maybe Holland. But those are all governments that I don't know much about. Somalia is suppose to have a non-authoritarian government, but only because it basically doesn't have one.

      This is the problem that non-state currencies have. One of the ways that states exert power is by control over the currency. They need to see a bit advantage in giving up that control before they will do so. So, e.g., Lithuanian might see their own currency as not being used much internally, with people preferring to use something else (DM? Rubles?) and say, well, BitCoin isn't any worse, so we might as well try it. But most countries see "good reasons" to discourage its use. It's probably technically illegal in the US for example, though trading stamps, customer reward points, etc. have resulted in that law not being generally enforced. They'd probably have to enforce it against a huge raft of companies if the prosecution wasn't to be defended against under the rubric of "random enforcement" (which, if I've got the term correct, actually means "targeted enforcement" which is a cause to throw out a case).

      • It's probably technically illegal in the US for example, though trading stamps, customer reward points, etc. have resulted in that law not being generally enforced.

        It's actually legal. The US Government doesn't care how you conduct your business so long as you can convert it (on paper) to dollar-equivalents and then calculate your taxes based on that and pay them in US Dollars.

    • bypass government authority? Bitcoin is the perfect currency for china as it allows them to easily control it across the world rather than just within its borders.
  • How does this matter? It's not like a citizen of China is free to come and go at will to start with. They simply do not have this freedom. Getting out of the country is not a given.

    That's how communism/socialism historically rolls. You just don't get to leave.

    So why is it so strange or news worthy that specific people, with ties to a crypto currency which the country is currently trying to stamp out within its borders are not being allowed to leave? All this means is they are serious about their effort

  • Why does anything this clown says make news any more? For those who don't know about his "involvement" with bitcoin he bought a penny stock shell and has been running a pump-and-dump scam with it using bitcoin as the story. The man is a full blown scammer now.

  • I could imagine they'd want to question them around possible money laundering concerns. I'd like to think they'll get due process, but, well, not a lot of faith in China on that front. Still, I've got mixed feelings here. China _does_ have a legitimate interest in preventing money laundering. And so long as they receive real due process there's nothing much to see here.
  • John McAfee is like the nerd version of Charlie Sheen.
  • a high-profile but controversial character in the bitcoin industry

    McAfee is NOT a high-profile character in "the bitcoin industry".
    McAfee has nothing to do with Bitcoin!

  • Hong Kong IS China. (Score:2, Informative)

    by snarfies ( 115214 )

    If a Chinese person travels to Hong Kong, they aren't leaving China. Its been part of China since the 1990s.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's technically China but it's a special administrative region. You can't willy nilly go in and out from the mainland to Hong Kong.

    • One country, two systems. There is a border check just like any into a foreign country. How do you think they stopped him? It's not like going from Texas to Louisana. PRC citizens can't even enter Hong Kong unless they have a special permit.
    • If a Chinese person travels to Hong Kong, they aren't leaving China. Its been part of China since the 1990s.

      The Chinese government considers travel from the mainland to Hong Kong to be foreign travel. If you had a single entry visa into China, flew to Mainland China and then went to Hong Kong, you would be denied entry back into Mainland China. They treat Macau and Tibet the exact same way.

  • Neither the WSJ pre-paywall nor TFS say why they could not travel to Hong Kong. They say they can't leave China but Hong Kong has been in China since 1999, when the British gave it back.

    What's actually going on here?

    • Neither the WSJ pre-paywall nor TFS say why they could not travel to Hong Kong. They say they can't leave China but Hong Kong has been in China since 1999, when the British gave it back.

      What's actually going on here?

      While you are correct that HK is part of China, it, Macau, and Tibet are all considered to be separate countries from a visa standpoint. You must have a passport to travel to those parts of the country and foreigners must have a multiple entry visa to go back and forth between mainland China and those regions.

  • Isn't evading government control what its supposed to do?
    • With a blockchain readable to the world, and arguably the best cryptographic minds designing it? I don't think it really evades government control, as shifts power. Wallet owners may be anonymous, but their transactions are forever.

      I really would not want to be buying anything illegal with BTC.

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