Cryptocurrency gifts totaling RMB 10 million ($1.6 million) were reportedly exchanged during the Chinese new year period. Not bad for a country whose government, according to many, harbors anti-bitcoin sentiment.
According to bitcoin exchange OKCoin, most gifts were sent through Tencent’s WeChat app, while half a million people used OKCoin’s OKLink account on WeChat.
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OKCoin CEO Star Xu said the solid showing will help bring on board users new to cryptocurrency. “Bitcoin acts as a social financial network and the success of bitcoin relies on more and more users adopting bitcoin and not only using it as a trading commodity. That is our core belief,” he said.
On the Chinese New Year’s Eve, 4 billion yuan ($642 million) in fiat gifts were transferred via Alibaba’s AliPay service. Not to be outdone, WeChat blocked links to AliPay in an effort to promote its own recently introduced money transfer service. It apparently worked–1.01 billion virtual red envelopes were sent through WeChat on New Year’s Eve alone, though Tencent did not disclose the total amount of fiat sent.
OKCoin also said that it plans on rolling out the English version of its OKLink service shortly.