Chinese BTC Startup Bihang: Diamond in the Rough

You could say it’s been a rough week forBitcoin users in China. Not one, not two, but three major banks, along withanother Paypal-like payment service, have banned bitcoin accounts in thecountry. As the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) seems to be carrying out theircrackdown they proposed in December 2013 with a heavy hand, it always helps to takenote of some of the positive things that are occurring within in this dreary climate.

Take for instance Bihang. This Bitcoinstartup was launched on December 17 2013 by founders Changhao Jiang and Hao Wang.Why is this date so significant? The previous day, the PBOC had banned thirdparty payment firms from carrying out bitcoin transactions in China. Quite theentrance, I’d say.

Bihang’s founders are not even Bitcoin evangelists and ownvery little bitcoins themselves. Their interest rather lies in the bitcoinwallet business along with the apps that accordingly come with them. Jiang, aformer research scientist for Facebook, gave his thoughts on whyintellectual property rights transfer and the property market would benefitfrom lack of regulations:

"If one can carry out peer-to-peer transactions without relying on thesupport of centralized organizations and third-party payment firms, it would bevery cool. This will be a whole new set of rules for the game, which will turna lot of traditional trading practices on their head."

Jiang’s counterpart, Mr. Wang, formerly worked at GoldmanSachs on transactional technologies and was trying his hand at a startup inmobile health app, while at the same time Jiang was working on an online-to-offlineservice. The two came together thanks to Feng Li of IDG Capital Partners, whoinvests in startups such as Coinbase and Wacai. IDG promptly invested in Bihangitself.

In April 2014 Bihang launched the Bibao mobile app forAndroid. The app includes the following features:

  • Follow Bitcoin and Litecoin exchange rates on major Chinese virtualcurrency exchanges and historical charts.
  • Configure and receive pricealerts
  • Trade with any of the exchangeswithin the app — no transaction-based fee is charged by Bibao as of yet.
  • Check your BTC or CNY balance andtrading record.
  • Keep up to date on news about Bitcoin and Litecoin across the ChineseWeb.

 As a precaution, Bihang has maintained asmall work force of ten employees to remain secure, half of which work the techside of the company and the other the administrative and customer serviceoperations.

As for the future of bitcoin wallets, Jiang sees futurebitcoin starts will become more diverse and offer a plethora of services liketransfers, trusts, and wealth management. While the forecast for bitcoiners inChina looks to be uncertain, Bihang doesn’t seem to be afraid to keep calm andmove forward.