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This Chinese Exchange Just Pushed the Value of Bitcoins Over $200

•, By Robert McMillan
The exchange, called BTC China, has been growing rapidly for the past few months as demand for bitcoins has surged. Today, BTC China accounts for just under 33 percent of trades. That’s ahead of long-time bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox (23 percent) and another rival, the Slovenia-based BitStamp (25 percent). Mt. Gox has long been the most popular exchange — and the most well known — but it has now fallen behind not one but two rivals.

BTC China seems to be riding a speculative mini-bubble that has boosted bitcoins’ value by more than a third since the federal government shut down the Silk Road online drug market, which accepted payments in bitcoin, about three weeks ago. On Tuesday, bitcoins crested over $200 for the first time since their wild runup last spring. That’s about ¥1,220.

“There’s been huge pickup in trading of bitcoins this year,” says Bobby Lee, the CEO of BTC China. At one point, during the currency’s last price surge last April, bitcoins were trading at the equivalent of $308 on his exchange, Lee says. That’s about $50 above their peaks at other exchanges.

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