China Invests Heavily in Bitcoin

Even as the U.S. government tries to stifle the alternative currency


The Bitcoin craze is reaching new heights in China.

Sun Minjie is a 28-year-old Internet worker who lives in Beijing. Eager to profit from growing demand for the digital currency, Sun has invested more than $3,000 in a company called 796 Xchange Ltd., an online exchange for trading stocks and other financial instruments related to Bitcoin, where initial public offerings are also being held.

He's part of a small but growing group of investors in China who have put the country into contention with the U.S. as the biggest downloader of the virtual money that's being used to buy a growing range of goods and services online. While intensified scrutiny by U.S. regulators casts doubt on the currency's future there, China's Bitcoin industry is expanding.