The violence in Hong Kong is escalating with each passing week. On Friday, the local government passed a martial law by banning to wear masks at public places.
Local banks, that remained resilient in the face of mass protects have now taken a hit as well.
As the social upheaval spilled over into the financial world, the local central bank, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has been forced to issue a warning against a “malicious attempt to cause panic among the public” after the rumors were spread about the government using emergency powers to impose foreign-exchange controls.
The central bank said over 10% of 3,300 ATMs were damaged and couldn’t function and 5% of the cash machines have run out of money.
Bank runs all over Hong Kong now. ATM machines running out of cash but there is something more important…failed leader carrie lam(b) can now officially confiscate bank accounts and assets without recourse. The HK legal system is essentially gone. #Bankruns #HKexit https://t.co/jz9sPrA30U
— Kyle Bass (@Jkylebass) October 5, 2019
The largest bank in Hong Kong, The Hong kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) that closed some of its branches on 5 October 2019 is reporting “higher than usual demand of our ATMs”.
As the local ATMs “run out” of money, the demand for gold and Bitcoin is further expected to rise and prices to edge higher.
The gold price has already soared to 6 year high driven by the Hong kong protests, trade war, falling interest rate, quantitative easing, and slowing global economy.
As for Bitcoin, recently LocalBitcoins, a peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading platform posted its highest trading volume ever in Hong Kong.
During the week Sep. 21-28, 12,294,796 Hong Kong dollars were recorded in trading volume, the highest ever in its history. The previous record was 11,666,176 HKD in early January 2018.
However, in terms of BTC, only 173 BTC was traded during this record week while the all-time high is at 1,086 BTC in November 2015.
The difference is while in 2015, one BTC was worth only about $300, for the past few weeks BTC is trading around $8,000.
Now, with ATMs running out of cash and demand for ATMs rising amidst the bank run and the local central bank jumping into the picture, the demand for physical gold and digital gold might see another spike.