Disclaimer: This article was posted as part of CoinDesk's April Fools' Day coverage.
Following rumours of China's plans to ban bank transfers to bitcoin exchanges, the CEO of Bitcoin™ has decided to ban China.
The decision was unanimously approved by Bitcoin's shareholders, the Bitcoin Board of Directors, HaCkerz4BITZ and the Bitcoin Steering Board.
As of 8th April, bitcoin transfers to and from the Glorious People's Republic of China will no longer by supported by the Bitcoin Network™. The decision will not affect the Republic of China (Taiwan) – unless it gets invaded in the meantime. It is unclear whether or not it will apply to Hong Kong, which is sort of part of China, but really it isn't – you know?
Pre-empting the PBOC ruling
The decision was announced by Bitcoin™ CEO Warren Winkleberg via reddit on Tuesday morning. It was made following extensive discussions with members of the bitcoin community, Chinese exchanges and Dorian S Nakamoto himself.
Although there were a few dissenting voices, they were drowned out in a lengthy discussion thanks to Godwin's Law – hence the decision was unanimous.
As a result, Bitcoin Inc.™ decided to pre-empt the imminent announcement of an official People's Bank of China (PBOC) notice, which is expected to effectively prohibit banks from doing business with bitcoin exchanges in mainland China, which happen to be wholly-owned subsidiaries of Bitcoin Inc.™
Warren Winkleberg stated:
"In light of China's imminent decision to clamp down on bitcoin exchanges, we had no choice but to completely ban China. We are aware that the decision will have a long-term impact on the proliferation of bitcoin and the price, but frankly we had no alternative."
"We had to act in the best interest of our shareholders and Bitcoin™ investors worldwide," he added.
Reactions, backlash, counter-backlash reactions
CEO of The Internet™ Kal-El Al-Gore told CoinDesk that while the decision is controversial, in the grand scheme of things it will help the bitcoin community and The Internet™ as a whole. He added:
"The Great Firewall of China has been hampering development and eating into our margins for more than a decade. Here at The Internet™ we know full well that restrictive policies advocated by certain circles in the Chinese government can have a devastating effect on growth and the adoption of new technologies. I should know, I invented The Internet™."
"In addition, carbon dioxide emissions caused by the firewall are contributing to China's air quality problems and they have become a public health issue. We all need to reduce our carbon footprint."
CEO of Dogecoin™, Mr Shibah Inews said:
In addition, The Socialist Union of Bitcoin Miners warns that the decision will not do much to help the plight of Chinese bitcoin miners, who are often compelled to work in unregulated bitcoin mines under harsh conditions with no union protection.
The International Labour Organisation reports that more than a dozen canaries (bred for their 'bitcoin' yellow hue) died in Chinese bitcoin mines last year.
"Children are being forced to mine for blocks to add to the master block chain. However the difficulty is astronomical – these kids don't even earn the transaction fees they're mining for," an investigator told bitcoin's premier news source The Coinion last December.
Even Apple has called for a thorough investigation from the authorities.
"It is even worse than Foxconn. We did not believe it was humanly possible, but it is," Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted in response. "It is almost as inhumane as reading the iTunes terms of service."
Price swings gone wild
The move is expected to cause even greater volatility on an already volatile bitcoin market. Many Chinese investors and exchanges are expected to start dumping their bitcoin holdings over the next week. This could trigger a ripple effect, causing many investors to unload their wallets before the price tanks.
However, it is seen as an opportunity for speculators and even some governments. Ukraine is rumoured to be planning to acquire as much as $1bn worth of bitcoins, which it plans to use to pay off its $1.6bn gas bill and to irk Russia in the process.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is not impressed.
"I bought into bitcoin at $14 and sold at $800. I'm all doge now," he said, adding: "In Putin's Russia, bitcoin exchanges you."
Analysts expect the price to bottom out later this month, but before it does it will spend a couple of weeks in negative territory, literally.
It is not all bad news. Speculators can expect great returns if they pounce at the right moment. In related news, Mt. Gox is widely expected to miraculously "find" a few hundred thousand bitcoins once they are worth next to nothing.
Woah here, cowboy image via Shutterstock