The history of cryptocurrencies is a good reflection of Chinese state capitalism. In general, the impression in the West is that China is an iron dictatorship, especially since Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, and that the party controls (almost) everything. But it is not like that. There are many more freedoms in China than you think, and cryptocurrency activity is a good example. One of the first times I had serious conversations about the potential of Bitcoin was in Shanghai, back in 2011. Many of my techie friends were fascinated by this new innovation and were trying to acquire the resources and knowledge to start mining Bitcoins. . Many of them also did it not only for profit, but because they embraced the spirit of cryptocurrency: operating in money that is not controlled by a political power.