Business and FinanceCryptocurrency

Chinese Crypto Scene: WeChat Asserts Bitcoin & Altcoin Related Transactions Are Verboten

China’s Regulators Clamp Down On Bitcoin & Crypto… Again

As you remember (or maybe not), China has long been an integral part of the crypto space. It is the home of Bitmain, a massive Bitcoin miner and ASIC manufacturer, and the nation housed many of the asset’s early adopters. However, over recent years, China’s governmental agencies have begun to crack down on this asset class, presumably due to the fact that analysis and research have indicated that locals are bypassing stringent capital controls with BTC.

This time, it seems that regulators are trying to stem the flow of domestic transactions related to cryptocurrency. In a policy update posted just recently, first spotted by Primitive Ventures’ Dovey Wan, merchants are disallowed from making or accepting transactions that relate to token issuance/crypto-related financing or Bitcoin trading activity, or else a ban will be instated.

As Wan explains, this ban may “impact local liquidity to some extent,” citing her experience and knowledge as an insider of the local cryptocurrency space. It is important to note that this move is very similar to Alipay’s purge of Bitcoin OTC accounts.

In response to this news, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao of Binance explained that this is a “classic example of short-term pain, long-term gain.” The exchange chief executive remarks that this “restriction of freedom” will push locals to adopt cryptocurrencies with time, especially as capital controls in the Asian nation continue to tighten.

Regardless, this is just an attempt from the Chinese government and related agencies to curb the propagation of Bitcoin. And as explained previously, this is far from the first time that such a crackdown has occurred.

Per previous reports from Ethereum World News, which covered this topic extensively, China’s National Fintech Risk office identified 124 cryptocurrency exchange platforms that were still available for Chinese citizens in late-2018. As China has banned overseas cryptocurrency exchanges time and time again, the country’s firewall quickly swallowed up access to these sites. Along with banning the aforementioned platforms, the governmental organization also noted that it plans to introduce monitoring systems to ensure no foreign exchanges sneak under China’s ‘great firewall’.

In related news, Chinese technology giant Tencent banned over eight crypto-centric news outlets on its WeChat mobile platform, which has become a primary mode of communication in the Asian region. Citing new governmental regulations, Tencent noted that it banned these accounts due to suspicions of “publishing information related to initial coin offerings (ICOs),” along with spreading crypto-related hype.  Last but not least, Beijing’s Chaoyang district has also revealed that it has banned local hotels, shopping malls and office buildings from hosting crypto-related events.

Mining Ban?

This news regarding WeChat comes just days after the National Development And Reform Commission (NDRC) of China was revealed to have intentions to ban Bitcoin-related mining activity. As we reported, the agency hinted at the idea that the mining of cryptocurrency may not be safe or conducive to the stability of China’s environment, which many have deemed to be false. The NDRC may also be bending to the wills of local financial regulators, who, as aforementioned, do not want digital asset usage in China to get out of hand.

Photo by Adi Constantin on Unsplash
About author

Nick has been enamored with cryptocurrencies since foraying into the industry in 2013. He has since gotten involved as a reporter, covering news on a number of blockchain- and crypto-related outlets.
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