China Continues Crypto Crackdown
It appears the government of China is pressing forward on its campaign to make it nearly impossible for average Chinese to use cryptocurrency. Earlier in the week, the government moved against crypto news sites. Now it appears to be prohibiting enthusiasts from meeting in the usual public places for events such as conferences and conventions.
Wechat, the very popular Chinese social media application, was ordered to remove more than half a dozen crypto news organizations from its platform. In a similar prohibition, the government has ordered Beijing hotels in its downtown to stop hosting crypto-related events, according to a report in the South China Morning Post.
A document making the rounds online reportedly urges Beijing’s central Chaoyang district to cease in hosting crypto related events at shopping malls, office buildings, and hotels. To confirm its authenticity, reporter Zheping Huang was able to get local authorities to vouch for its validity. “A staffer with Chaoyang’s financial authority said the notice was triggered by a local event organized by an overseas cryptocurrency exchange last week, and is restricted to the district in question.”
What’s in a Name?
The most recent rounds of prohibition by the Chinese government actually began back in September of last year when initial coin offerings (ICOs) were summarily banned. Though the government does have an overt distaste, to put it mildly, for cryptocurrency, it seems to welcome what it considers blockchain technology.
Turns out that is a loophole many Chinese citizens could drive a truck through. All companies had to as a result was change their emphasis from crypto to blockchain. The Morning Post explains, “Blockchain media outlets came to prominence despite the cryptocurrency bans as they fill a niche in providing investors with timely information on cryptocurrency prices, and reviews on blockchain-related projects. Just like other Chinese news services, these platforms rely heavily on Wechat to reach audiences aside from their apps and websites. The blocked accounts on Wechat come from some of the most popular blockchain news platforms including Jinse Caijing and Huobi News, whose apps and sites are still in operation.”
Do you think China will continue to crackdown on cryptocurrency? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.