今天你矿难了吗?

 

中国政府狙击比特币

译者:王妍 & 倪婷

校对:曾擎禹

策划:鲁迅

 

Once a leader in virtual currencies, China turns against them

虚拟货 币在中国曾是弄潮儿,现在却被政府打压

 

本文选自 The Economist | 取经号原创翻译

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BITCOIN and China always made odd bedfellows. Devotees of bitcoin love its independence from central authorities; in China the central authorities love their power. That they would accept a cryptocurrency that weakened their control over something as fundamental as the management of money seemed unlikely. Yet China had become the world’s biggest bitcoin market, dominating both its trading and computer-powered “mining”.

比特币 和中国政府从来都是同床异梦。比特币的拥趸看中的 就是它不受中央监管的独立特性,而中国 的中央政府恰恰热衷于权力。让他们 接受一种加密货币,削弱在 管理金钱这么重要的事上的控制权,似乎不大可能。然而,目前的 中国已成为世界上最大的比特币市场,主导着 比特币交易和虚拟矿业。

Devotee / ˏdevəˈtiː; ˏdɛvəˋti/ n  person who is devoted to sth; enthusiast 致力於﹑献身於某事物的人; 热心者; 某事物的迷恋者

 

It was not meant to be. Bitcoin’s surprising success in China appears to be nearing its end. A series of bans announced over the past month have made clear that bitcoin and all fellow travellers, from ethereum to litecoin, have little place within its borders. Some hope that the bans are temporary. The government has, after all, declared an ambition to make China a leader in the blockchain technology that is integral to bitcoin. But its seems more likely that officials will tighten their grip on China’s remaining crypto-coin bastions.

事情原本就是“不应该”如此发展的。比特币 在中国市场取得的惊人成就似乎已接近尾声。过去几 个月里公布的一系列禁令已明确表示,比特币 和其他类似的加密货币(以太币、莱特币等等)都被“封杀”了。有些人 希望禁令是暂时的。毕竟,政府宣 称中国有望成为区块链技术的领导者,而比特 币离不开这项技术。但似乎 政府反而更加紧了对中国市场上其他的加密货币团体的控制。

 

Bitcoin had been in trouble in China since February, when the central bank, aiming to stem illicit capital flows, ordered exchanges to halt virtual-currency withdrawals until they could identify their customers. China’s share of global bitcoin-trading went from more than 90% to just about 10% (see chart).

自二月起,比特币 在中国市场的发展就一路受阻。为了遏 制非法资本流动,央行下 令除非交易所能识别客户身份,否则将 不会撤销虚拟货币提款的禁令。中国在 全球比特币交易中所占的份额从90%以上降至仅10%。

 

As bitcoin-trading slumped, attention shifted to other cryptocurrencies and their cousins, crypto-tokens. These are issued in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which allow startups to raise cash. But on September 4th regulators banned ICOs, calling them a form of illegal fundraising. And that presaged an even harsher step, an order that all virtual-currency exchanges shut by the end of the month.

随着比 特币交易量暴跌,人们将 注意力转移到其他种类的加密货币以及加密代币上。以上两种都通过ICO(首次代币发行)发行,而那些 初创的虚拟货币项目也将从中筹得资金。但9月4日监管 机构下令禁止了ICO,并且将ICO定性为非法集资。随之而来的则是 更为严苛的措施——政府下令,到九月 底所有虚拟货币交易所都必须关闭。

Slump/slʌmp/ 下降,衰落;倒下;大幅度下降,暴跌

Presage / ˈpresɪdʒ; ˋprɛsɪdʒ/ n sign that sth (espsth unpleasant) will happen; omen 预兆; 兆头; (尤指)恶兆, 凶兆.

 

Why the government acted at this moment is unclear, but it dovetails with a campaign to rein in financial risk that has been running for a year. With bitcoin looking like an ever-frothier bubble and a five-yearly Communist Party congress in October, stability is the paramount goal.

政府为 何在此时采取行动,原因尚不知晓,但这与 政府在全年金融风险所用的把控手段的做派相符。比特币 看起来就像一个过度膨胀的泡沫,而每五 年一次的党的代表大会召开在即,此时稳 定才是重中之重。

 

China’s crackdown initially sent shock waves through global crypto-markets. The bitcoin price tumbled by 35% from its highs before the ICO ban to its low point, on news of the exchange closures. But it has since rebounded by more than 20%. Many bitcoin fans are keeping the faith.

中国对 比特币的打压首先给全球加密货币市场带来了冲击。在中国 宣布停止代币交易后,比特币 价格从此前的最高点跌至最低点,暴跌了35%。但此后,比特币 价格自低点反弹了20%。许多比 特币粉丝对比特币依然抱有信心。

tumble / ˈtʌmbl; ˋtʌmbl/ to fall a lot in value in a short time(价值)暴跌,骤降

 

Nevertheless, for investors in China, the closure of the exchanges could be a lethal blow. The government has not made it illegal for individuals to own bitcoin. But they can do little with it. In theory they can still trade in private, but liquidity will be much lower than on exchanges. If they shift to exchanges outside the country, they would run afoul of capital controls. Moreover, there is talk that regulators might block web access to offshore trading sites.

然而对 于中国投资者来说,比特币 交易市场的关闭却是一个致命打击。中国政 府并未宣布个人持有比特币为非法行为,但持有 者几乎已经不能对比特币进行操作了。从理论上来说,比特币 持有者仍可以私下交易,但较之交易平台,比特币 的流动性大大的降低了。如果他 们转而到境外进行交易,这将违反外汇管制。而且有消息指出,监管部 门有可能会对离岸交易网站进行屏蔽。

lethal /ˈliːθəl/ able to cause or causing death; extremely dangerous 致命的;极其危险的

run afoul of sth to experience problems, punishment or harm because you do not obey a rule or disagree with a powerful organization, group or person 与…相冲突;与…抵触

 

For now, China’s bitcoin miners can continue excavating their digital ore. They create some 70% of new bitcoins by operating the computers that do the number-crunching that underpins the cryptocurrency. Chinese firms benefit from cheap equipment and cheap electricity, setting up in remote parts of the country where plenty of power plants have excess capacity. But miners fear their days are numbered. The government could declare them illegal. Or it could try to undermine them by slowing their connections with trading platforms outside China.

就目前来说,中国的 比特币矿工仍然可以继续挖掘他们的数字矿石。矿工通 过操作运行数字运算的计算机,创造了 全世界加密货币市场中大约7成的比特币。得益于 廉价的设备和电力,许多中 国企业在拥有大量产能过剩的发电厂的边远地区开设工厂。但是比 特币矿主担忧他们的好日子已时日无多。政府可 能会将其宣布为非法,或是通 过放缓他们与境外交易平台的连接速度的方式进行削弱。

ore /ɔː US ɔːr/ rock or soil from which metal can be obtained (含金属的)矿石,矿砂

 

The global impact of China’s demise as a bitcoin hub is not straightforward. Cutting such a big economy out of the action might seem obviously negative. But as the rebound in bitcoin prices has shown, investors are, for the moment, not overly concerned. The possibility of a crackdown in China had loomed over the market for years. What’s more, if Chinese miners are forced to the sidelines, there will be more room for others. The ban in China may also ease the currency’s governance problems. It weakens the influence of Chinese miners, who have clashed with Western bitcoin developers.

尽管身 为全球比特币的一个枢纽节点,但中国比特币市场关闭对全球 的影响并不直接。将如此 大的经济体从交易市场中切割出去所带来的影响表面上看似乎是消极的,但比特 币价格的反弹显示出投资者对此暂时没有特别担心。而且如 果中国矿工被迫离场,这将会 给其他人更多的机会。中国的 禁令将会缓解比特币的治理问题,中国矿 工经常与西方国家的比特币开发者发生冲突,而此举 削弱了中国矿工的影响力。

demise / dɪˈmaɪz; dɪˋmaɪz/ the end of something that was previously considered to be powerful, such as a business, industry or system 倒闭;败落;垮台

sideline / ˈsaɪdlaɪn; ˋsaɪdˏlaɪn/ If a sports player is sidelined they are prevented from playing or competing, and can only watch 使退出比赛,使停止参赛;to stop someone taking an active and important part in something 使靠边;使不再发挥重要作用;排挤

 

A bigger threat is that other countries follow China’s lead. Regulators are stirring. In America, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced this week that it would create a cyber unit, which, among other things, will tackle misconduct in digital currencies. In Japan, hitherto a haven, the Financial Services Agency will start placing exchanges under close surveillance in October. Australia, Canada and Europe are talking of tougher rules. China, in other words, might still be at the vanguard of the cryptocurrency world, but exercising the kind of leadership that bitcoin boosters least want to see.

更大的 威胁在于其他国家效仿中国,各国的 监管机构正在日益活跃。在美国,证券交 易委员会于本周宣布设立网络部门,与其他 部门协同处理数字货币交易中的违规行为。日本一 直以来都是比特币交易的天堂,但日本金融厅将于10月起将 对比特币交易进行严格监管。澳大利亚、加拿大 和欧洲国家正在讨论制定更为严格的管理规定。换句话说,中国在 全球加密货币市场中仍具有领导地位,但中国 由于这种领导地位而在监管比特币上产生的影响力是比特币支持者最不愿意看到的。