Chinese Internet Celebrity Explains Bitcoin, Blockchain Technology to Over 500,000 Viewers

A Chinese internet celebrity called Li Yongle (李永乐) has recently made a 15-minute long video where he tried to explain to his followers what bitcoin and blockchain technology are. The video reportedly went viral in the country.

According to local news outlet 8BTC, Yongle has over 900,000 followers on a popular Chinese video-sharing platform, 2.8 million followers on the country’s version of Twitter, Weibo, and over 270,000 subscribers on YouTube.

This, as he is a well-known math and physics teacher in China, that helps others understand complex topics by simplifying them. The video of him explaining bitcoin and blockchain technology, which has also been shared on YouTube, is said to have been viewed over half a million times, and racked up over 5,000 comments.

The video went viral, according to 8BTC, thanks to key opinion leaders in the Chinese community, who helped spread the word by retweeting it. Among the 5,000 comments were viewers trying to learn more, asking how they can use bitcoin with their bank accounts, or whether or not mining the cryptocurrency consumes huge amounts of energy.

While the Chinese government has in the past cracked down on cryptocurrencies, state-run publications reportedly often share Li Yongle’s work. Other Chinese celebrities have reportedly already promoted bitcoin and cryptocurrencies on their shows.

Chinese cryptocurrency billionaire Zhao Dong has, back in November of 2018, predicted bitcoin could hit $50,000 within three years. Per his words, the right time to buy bitcoin is during the bear market, as those who “make truckloads of money do not have a very short-term speculative driven investment mindset.”

Notably, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), has late last year said security token offerings (STOs) are illegal in the country, reinforcing its attitude towards the nascent sector. Despite the central bank’s attitude, a Chinese court has ruled that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin should be protected by law.

Could President Trump Ban Bitcoin? Experts Weigh In

  • Experts weigh in on the possibility of President Trump banning bitcoin.
  • Increasing concern over libra and large platform digital currencies is driving political agenda. 

Following last week’s attack on bitcoin and Facebook’s libra, experts have voiced their opinion on whether US President Donald Trump could realistically impose a ban on cryptocurrency. 

Not a Fan of Bitcoin

On July 11, President Donald Trump published a series of tweets attacking bitcoin and digital currencies, while championing the dollar. 

President Trump’s comments come in the midst of growing concern over Facebook’s libra, as political regulators around the world scramble to enact policies to deal with the rise of digital currencies. 

Members of the crypto community have questioned the impact of the US President taking an unfavorable stance towards bitcoin. Some crypto pundits predicted the tweets would be good for the price of BTC and ultimately increase exposure to cryptoassets. However, others worry that political influence may lead to a crackdown on cryptocurrency usage. 

Scenarios for Banning Crypto

Alex Kruger, economist and market analyst, published a tweet thread examining the legality and possibility of President Trump banning bitcoin. 

According to Kruger, It would be almost impossible for the US government to outlaw bitcoin as a technological instrument. Aside from the Herculean task of eradicating a decentralized, digital technology, bitcoin is code, which is protected under the first amendment.

However, that same protection is not extended to third-party operators, including cryptocurrency exchanges. 

Kruger quoted Abra CEO and Founder BIll Barhydt, who explained in a Forbes article how the government could target fiat onramps to exchanges, 

“You can’t prevent people from holding ones and zeroes on a device in their pocket. That ship has sailed. We already know that. The question is: What can they do at the edge of the network -- the onramps and offramps, the places where they exert control over the banking system, the exchanges, [and the] stablecoins.”

The US government could prevent retail investors from having access to crypto-assets through exchanges and prevent banks from allowing transfer of funds. Users would still be able to buy crypto through alternative channels, but the current ease of investing would be severely hampered. 

Unlikely, But Not Impossible

President Trump could also issue an executive order banning citizens from dealing in bitcoin, similar to the one he issued against the Petro. While there is a precedent for this route, Kruger claims the order could be easily overturned by Congress, 

Ultimately, Kruger believes that it is unlikley the President or Congress would move to ban bitcoin, and it would be difficult to enact fool-proof policy. However, it's worth considering the political landscape as regulatory concerns mount over Facebook's libra.

Just last week, a copy of a bill reportedly drafted by the House Financial Services Committee surfaced online, under the title "Keep Big Tech Out of Finance." The bill would put an end to Facebook and other large platforms from issuing digital currencies without incurring a severe penalty.

The same could be extended to bitcoin in the event the government finds crypto-assets no longer tolerable for the general public.