The digital currency craze that has gripped the world for the past two years has finally caught up with Singaporean internet retailer eBay.
As of March, the online retailer has seen a whopping 4.6 million transactions for its digital currency, cryptocurrencies, and now is hoping to catch up with China.
EBay, which has been in the news for its “buy now” button, has reportedly seen a surge in transactions for bitcoin and other digital currencies, particularly for the digital currencies that have gained popularity recently.
In Singapore, the biggest seller of cryptocurrencies is the Singapore Stock Exchange (SSE), which sold 6,944 bitcoin-linked shares worth $11.8 million (S$16.3 million) on Tuesday.
However, other companies such as Bitcoin Singapore, Coinlab, and Bitmain are also taking advantage of the boom.
Bitcoin Singapore, an online Bitcoin exchange, said it sold more than 1,500 bitcoin-based shares for just S$2.4 million ($2.5 million).
The company also reported a 6.6 percent year-on-year increase in volume of transactions for digital currencies in Singapore, compared to the same period last year.
It said in a statement: “As digital currencies have become more popular, we have seen a spike in the amount of transactions in our platform.
We are now seeing a number of transactions per second on our platform compared to last year.”
Bitmain, a bitcoin mining company, said in an official statement that it sold 667 bitcoin-related shares for S$3.5-million ($3.6-million).
“We are seeing a significant increase in the volume of BTC transactions over last year, and we are confident that we can continue to grow this momentum in the coming years,” the company said.
Bitcoin, the first crypto-currency to gain widespread mainstream adoption, has seen rapid growth in China, India, and elsewhere.
Its popularity in Singapore and elsewhere has prompted eBay to consider selling its own cryptocurrency.
The online retailer recently introduced a buy button for cryptocommunications that allows buyers to buy cryptocurrency directly from the exchange.
The move comes amid growing concern over China’s increasingly hostile stance towards cryptocurrency, with Chinese authorities banning the use of digital currencies as a form of payment.
China’s official media outlet Xinhua said on Tuesday that the country’s central bank will introduce a nationwide “anti-money laundering system” next month.
China has banned cryptocurrency use in some circumstances, including as a payment method for official transactions.
This is in stark contrast to the U.S., where a government-backed cryptocurrency exchange called ShapeShift allows people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on its platform.
China has also taken measures to ban the use and trading of cryptocurrency on its exchanges.
However, the Chinese government does not ban the trading of cryptocurrencies entirely.
On March 10, China banned cryptocurrency exchanges, as well as cryptocurrency exchanges that handle money laundering and other illegal activity.
“China will not tolerate any illegal activity, including the trade of cryptocurrencies, for it will continue to be a target for the U-S.
and the world,” Xinhua quoted the finance ministry as saying.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China accounted for 1.3 percent of global total financial assets of $4.2 trillion as of April, while the U, UK, and Japan accounted for 2.6 and 4.3 per cent of total financial asset, respectively.
The People’s Bank of China has also introduced a new cryptocurrency regulatory framework, dubbed the China Blockchain Law.
Chinese regulators have also stepped up efforts to crack down on bitcoin exchanges.
Last month, the Central Bank of Chinese was reportedly unable to access a bitcoin exchange, after the bitcoin trading platform Huobi lost its license to operate.
Cryptocurrencies have surged in popularity in recent years.
In 2014, they gained over $5 billion (S $7.3 billion) in value, and in 2017, they surpassed $7 billion.
The cryptocurrency market is expected to grow by over 70 percent this year.