Growing concerns about secrecy and the vulnerability of the global financial sector are forcing the general public to learn about bitcoin and associated technologies. Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin, by Nathaniel Popper, is a timely primer.
It tells us that a large number of bitcoin mining farms in Inner Mongolia and other remote parts of China are taking full advantage of the cheap electricity and computer hardware to generate massive numbers of bitcoins. In the meantime, it is often said that over half of global bitcoin trading now takes place in China. While the Chinese government is generally cautious about bitcoin, several very active exchanges have sprung up in mainland China, and there is a large army of Chinese participants in the bitcoin food chain.
This is odd in light of two well-known facts. First, China is overbanked, and there are bank outlets