Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges have been effectively banned in China since 2017, though that hasn’t stopped people trading bitcoin between themselves.
The bitcoin price, which has more than doubled this year despite a recent downturn, remains hugely dependent on the Chinese trading market with China thought to have accounted for over 90% of cryptocurrency trading volume before the ban.
Now, bitcoin exchange giant Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by volume, has clashed with Alibaba-owned China payment platform Alipay over its new China peer-to-peer bitcoin trading platform.
Earlier this month, Binance launched a peer-to-peer bitcoin and crypto trading platform in China, with the Binance chief executive Changpeng Zhao, often known simply as CZ, boasting some 1.4 billion people in the country could begin using it.
Users of the platform in China are able to buy bitcoin, ethereum and the stable coin tether with China’s yuan currency.
However, shortly after the announcement, Alipay hit back at CZ’s suggestion it could be used to buy bitcoin on the new platform.
“If any transactions are identified as being related to bitcoin or other virtual currencies, Alipay immediately stops the relevant payment services,” the payments company, which has some 900 million users, said via Twitter.