Hong Kong Businesses Turn To Bitcoin as Protests Enter 12th Week
Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptos are increasingly adopted in Hong Kong as a mark of protest against the government by the participants in pro-democracy movement.
The political uprising, which has entered its 12th week, has encouraged numerous domestic firms and individuals to start using non-sovereign and decentralized electronic currencies.
Two days back Pricerite, a department store in Hong Kong, announced that it would start accepting Bitcoin, Ether (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) at fourteen venues in the city. The store has pointed out that it will be able to quickly convert the crypto into Hong Kong dollars using Lightning Network, which facilitates scalability in Bitcoin network.
Other than conventional vendors, cryptocurrency focused firm Genesis Block is operating 14 crypto ATMs across Hong Kong. Last month, Genesis Block, which operates under the brand name “CoinHere,” distributed water to dissidents.
Notably, global Bitcoin Cash (BCH) donations were used to pay for the water and umbrellas, a symbolically represents the 2014 Umbrella Revolution.
Earlier in August, protestors began withdrawing the maximum possible amount from their bank accounts or exchange it with the US dollars. Such a protest served two purposes: safeguarding personal wealth and a warning to Chinese government.
Back in June, there were reports that several Hong Kong millionaires have started moving their wealth outside the country. Recent estimates indicate that there were 853 individuals in Hong Kong with net worth of over $100 million.
If the protest movement does not gather enough momentum to ensure scrapping of the controversial extradition bill, mainland Chinese authorities will be able to force Hong Kong courts to freeze and take over assets related to crimes carried out on the mainland.
Amidst the tension, in June, Bitcoin trading volumes jumped in Hong Kong. The crypto is traded at a premium on P2P exchange LocalBitcoins.