Billionaire Chairman Of China’s Giant Network Invested In OkCoin
Giant Network Chairman Shi Yuzhu has invested tens of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency trading platform OkCoin, according to local media reports citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. According to local media sources, the investment was widely anticipated.
According to Bloomberg, it’s unclear whether the investment took place before or after China halted domestic Bitcoin exchanges. OKCoin CEO Star Xu declined to comment to QQ.com.
Xu Mingxing, founder and CEO of OKcoin, apparently confirmed Shi’s investment. Xu also confirmed that Lei Jun, another celebrity billionaire – though it’s unclear whether the two men made their investments before or after China introduced regulations banning active trading of ICO tokens and cryptocurrencies on local exchanges, forcing many customers to migrate to South Korean, Hong Kong or Japanese exchanges. Lei had previously denied his investment.
Back in 2014, OKCoin raised around ten million dollars in Series A funding from investment institutions (Ceyuan Venture Capital, Mandra Capital, Ventures Lab) and venture capitalists (prominent angel investor Cai Wensheng, founder of e-commerce site Xiu.com Huang Jin, founder of developer community CSDN Jiang Tao, chairman of Chinese Yough Angel Investor Leader Association Yang Ning, founder of angel investor Pre-Angel Wang Lijie, founder of tech media Leiphone Lin Jun, etc.).
In September, Chinese authorities shocked the bitcoin market when they abruptly banned exchanges from actively trading ICO tokens and digital currencies like bitcoin. Exchange-based trading volume in the country immediately plummeted as domestic investors turned to exchanges based in Japan, South Korea or Hong Kong to conduct business.
But local exchanges are apparently surviving after tweaking their business model.
They now facilitate peer to peer transactions, a business model pioneered by website LocalBitcoins.
Since the exchanges shuttered active trading, peer-to-peer trading volume in the country has exploded…