China Blocks Access to More Foreign Exchanges in Ongoing War on Crypto
China’s war on crypto is ratcheting up as authorities announce plans to block access to over 120 foreign crypto exchange sites. The decision follows WeChat’s move to ban certain crypto sites from its platform for a cited failure to “comply with regulations”.
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124 Foreign Exchanges Met by the ‘Great Firewall of China’
In all, 124 foreign cryptocurrency exchanges will be blocked from being accessed in China, as they will now be subjected to the nation’s ‘Great Firewall’ — the name given to the collective means employed by the Chinese government to control domestic internet use. Access to foreign crypto exchanges began being stifled at the beginning of the year.
In addition, government authorities will also continue to monitor and shut down local exchanges and any other sites connected to either ICOs or crypto trading. They will also place a ban on any payment services from processing cryptocurrencies — preventing merchants accepting them as a means of payment.
Censors in the country also recently shut down eight media outlets specializing in blockchain and cryptocurrency news. This lead to WeChat, the country’s most popular chat app, banning those outlets’ accounts on its platform.
In a related decision, Beijing officials announced last week that the government would be banning venues such as hotels and office buildings from hosting cryptocurrency events in the area.
China’s War on Crypto Continues, Government Determined to Stamp it Out
This latest development marks only the most recent step in an ongoing effort by Chinese officials to stifle cryptocurrency activities within its borders. The effort began last September when regulators banned ICOs, with the stated aim of protecting consumers from financial risk.
Despite reassurances at the time from people like LakeBTC CEO Thomas Xie that China is “a friendly location for crypto assets“ and waving away concerns as “being based on unsubstantiated rumor and gossip,” it seems the clampdown is real and escalating.
Indeed, the country quickly widened the focus of its regulatory scope: from banning ICOs and local exchanges to blocking all websites related to cryptocurrency trading — including foreign platforms — in a few short months.
Pan Gongsheng, a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, justified the government’s decision to ban crypto-related activities, saying:
“If things were still the way they were at the beginning of the year, over 80 per cent of the world’s bitcoin trading and ICO financing would take place in China — what would things look like today? It’s really quite scary.”
What do you think of China’s latest moves? What implications will it have for crypto in general? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images via China Daily Mail, WeChat, People’s Bank of China