In two days, we have seen three significant news pieces out of China that all point towards an all out ban on cryptocurrencies from Chinese authorities. As it stands in China, some aspects of crypto are banned and others are totally legal, however it seems that new regulations are coming into force by the day, regulations that are going to put an awful lot of pressure on the crypto community within China.
What’s been happening?
First of all, authorities have made efforts to ban WeChat accounts that are sharing cryptocurrency and blockchain news. WeChat is a Chinese social media, one that can be used to advertise cryptocurrency and can be used by media outlets to push crypto news. As of yesterday, a number of large companies were banned from WeChat, and authorities published guidelines that stipulate cryptocurrency and blockchain related news will no longer be allowed on the social media platform.
According to The Next Web:
“The South China Morning Post reports that Shenlian Caijing was one of the media outlets affected. Established earlier this year by a group of veteran Chinese journalists, it has already raised almost $1.5 million in funding from prominent angel investors Dfund and Plum Ventures. This shows us that this isn’t some attempt at curbing cryptocurrency spambots – outlets with credibility are being silenced.”
Next up, authorities in Beijing are alleged to have banned hotels and venues from hosting cryptocurrency and blockchain related conferences and events. As you know, such events are a big deal within the corporate crypto world and networking is a great way for crypto projects to grow. Now it seems that authorities are going to stop these events happening, in order to divert cryptocurrency attention away from the general public. According to the South China Morning Post:
“Separately, Beijing’s central Chaoyang district issued a notice on August 17 banning hotels, office buildings and shopping malls in the area from hosting events promoting cryptocurrencies. The document was leaked online this week, and confirmed by the South China Morning Post with the local authority. 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.”
As you can see, this move is limited to just one area, however it’s still not great news for the industry and is likely to inspire other local authorities to make similar changes in the way hotels and event venues operate.
Finally and most recently, Chinese authorities are alleged to blocking its citizens from accessing around 124 cryptocurrency exchanges online. This, is a clear move to make trading and investing almost impossible in China. According to Ethereum World News:
“The Shanghai Securities Times reported that the China National Fintech Risk Rectification office, had identified 124 trading platforms with foreign IP addresses that were still available in the country. The office now has announced that it plans on setting up measures to monitor the space as well as block internet access to these trading platforms.”
Moreover, the China National Fintech Risk Rectification Office has said:
“Some organizations or individuals use the blockchain and virtual currency as the gimmicks to carry out illegal criminal activities such as pyramid schemes and fraud… The relevant departments will further adopt targeted clean-up measures to maintain financial order and social stability. The 124 websites are located outside the country, but the virtual currency trading platform website that provides transaction services for domestic residents has taken necessary control measures. The next step will be to strengthen monitoring and block in real time.”
This is all very bad news overall and is going to have a huge impact on the cryptocurrency community in China. What’s more is that we can only expect this to continue. Sadly, this isn’t the end of it and we can only expect to see more regulations and restrictions implemented over the coming weeks. This sudden turn against cryptocurrency was sort of expected, and now we are simply left to ride out a storm, a storm that could totally ban crypto from China, forever.