China’s Bitcoin-to-fiat exchange and ICO ban is producing a record number of “desperate” refugees, Quoine’s CEO Mike Kayamori has said.

In comments to Bloomberg, the Japanese exchange head said the fallout from the Chinese rules means the country’s exchange operators are fervently looking for alternatives, including in Japan.

“We’re talking to almost all of those guys. They’re all desperate now,” he told the publication.

Japan offers a ‘friendlier’ licensed environment for crypto exchange businesses, while China’s household names such as OKCoin and Binance are eyeing up Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea.

Kayamori said that such is the scale of demand, Quoine alone is unable to service Chinese requirements.

“There’s a lot of Chinese retail people reaching out to us, but we can’t handle it. So if a Chinese partner can handle all of those and they connect to us, that will be much easier,” he added.

As China’s flagship exchange BTCChina shuts its doors in the coming days, the Bitcoin sphere is buzzing with speculation as to if and when the situation will change once again.

In the meantime, international scaling is something OKCoin is considering in light of current demand.

“China used to account for a significant share of the cryptocurrency market, so we think the demand is there," Lennix Lai, financial market director for its subsidiary OKEx said.

“As formerly one of the biggest operators in China, we think we have a good chance of competing globally.”