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It appears that the Chinese authoritarian government has had enough with the uncontrolled decentralization of cryptocurrencies, and in a strategic, concentrated and coordinated effort it has launched an attack on crypto in the gigantic country.
It started a few days ago, when online Chinese news outlets began reporting that numerous prominent social media accounts related to crypto and blockchain on the popular social messaging app, WeChat, were suddenly banned and completely removed. The pretext for the mass ban was that the crypto accounts had been violating the site’s terms when they were allegedly promoting deceptive initial coin offering (ICO) projects and other hyped up virtual currency endeavors. Okay… sure, there are definitely ICO scams out there – probably too many – but what absurd is that according to the reports, even some accounts of cryptocurrencies that China itself ranks on its monthly cryptocurrency ranking were banned.
But banning crypto-related social media accounts turned out to be just the beginning…
On August 17, technology reporters from Hong Kong revealed that the Chinese government has begun a crackdown on hotels, offices and malls in Beijing that had habitually hosted all sorts of cryptocurrency and blockchain events. Apparently, a document that had been issued by government officials and which prohibited venues from hosting cryptocurrency events, was somehow leaked online; its authenticity was verified after the South China Morning Post confirmed it with the local authority. So that’s the second blatant indication that China doesn’t want its citizens to become more familiar with crypto.
The last recent official act against cryptocurrency (or at least until now) is an attempt to wholly block in China crypto exchanges that are based outside of the country. According to Shanghai Securities News, which is affiliated with the country’s official regulators, Chinese authorities seek to block any access to 124 crypto exchange sites by companies and operators that are located outside of mainland China. The goal is clear and straightforwardly professed: to stop Chinese residents from acquiring any virtual currency through exchanges or ICOs.
Those were three deliberate measures against cryptocurrency by the Chinese government in a very short period of time – which doubtfully could be a mere coincidence. It appears to be a calculated and planned move to disallow Chinese citizens to deal with cryptocurrencies. On the one hand, it’s not a surprise at all – after all, the Communist Party of China autocratically rules the country; but on the other hand, the Chinese government did signal that it wishes to adopt at least some elements of crypto and blockchain.
At least at the moment, it seems that the anti-crypto forces within the Chinese regime are prevailing.