I made similar comments under the topic "should we be calling it BitShares"
This thread was started just before the recent plunge.
I believe it is very necessary to separate the concept of BitShares from Bitcoin.
The recent drop in price of bitcoin has caused PTS to half in value, even though this doesn't make too much sense. and Protoshares doesn't even sound like bitcoin.
Now if we launching BitShares (which even sounds like bitcoin), we may be tethering ourselves to a sinking stone. BitShares has the potential to be a colossal mammoth of a ship, it would be a shame to see it sink because it was anchored to a sinking stone.
As for China, right now China is dominating the bitcoin market in terms of transaction volume and market share. Thus problems in china would cause a price drop causing more people in China to sell. After some time if China keeps its current strict regulations, it will loose its market share and price will be determined by other countries. In such a situation, price may go up even if China becomes more strict. This will open up a large informal market in China for bitcoins independent of Chinese regulation.
People in China can still buy bitcoins, just not through banks and exchanges.
Every bad news concerning Bitcoins is perceived as bad news of the entire crypto currency market. Potential investors are uncertain of either participating and taking the risk, or waiting for good things to happen prior deciding about investing or not. And with the recent changes in China, both of these choices were taken away and there is only one left "NO BUYING UNTIL WE SAY". As you have said, if the Chinese gov. continues with their current stance and prohibits trading, a huge informal sector, where actual paper bills are traded for BTC, will be created.
Obviously that is not the solution and we need to find a solution to this problem. Certainly, all the major Chinese trading platforms are trying to find a solution as well - perhaps, a trading platform, strictily controlled by the Chinese gov will evolve, or perhaps the current deposit ban will be lifted and trading will continue, regulated.
But who knows. The entire future of Bitshares lays in the hands of the community, and the most important man right now is the marketing head Brian. Marketing is everything and only if he (with the help of the community) is able to change the perception of millions of people out there, convince them that BitShares is an entirely different system compared to Bitcoins, only then the entire project will succeed.
After all, this project is just like a start-up. Bitshares is entering a rather newly created market with an entirely new product. What the team has done a great job at, was focusing on their product strategy (Product Development). But their Customer Development strategy still needs to be improved. Customer and Product development are two simultaneous processes that, when combined, will lead to a successful positioning of ones product in the market. Letting a product run free in the marketing and thinking "Yeh, building a great product is everything, the buyers will come" is a blatant lie that lead to the downfall of many start-ups, even though they had a great vision and millions of dollars at their disposal.
I already offered Brian my help, since I have ties with London accelerator programs (http://www.accenture.com/
), Hong Kong tech-hubs (https://www.cyberport.hk/
) and accelerators (http://www.startmeup.hk/
) and a few in India (GSF India, thanks to Joel). Only if the community works together and pursues the same goal of idealism and not the ones of capitalism - only then we'll be able to succeed and place a new product in the market.
Brian or David, if you want some more details or need some help, just shoot me a message.