China continues to tighten its grip on Bitcoin mining and trading, as it has banned several crypto-related social media accounts. The ban was implemented on the popular Twitter-like website Weibo after the country’s cabinet outlawed crypto exchanges and financial services last month.
China Escalates Campaign Against Cryptocurrencies
The latest crackdown on social media is a part of broader efforts to criminalize cryptocurrency dealings in China. Analysts and financial regulators believe more actions could be taken to classify certain crypto-activities as illegal. In May, China barred financial institutions and payment companies from offering transaction services in the domain of cryptocurrency.
As a result of the ban, many crypto-related social-media influencers were denied access to the platform, with a message saying the account “violates laws and rules.”
Weibo Bitcoin commentator and key opinion leader (KOL), “Woman Dr. Bitcoin mini”, was among those who were blocked on Saturday. In response to the ban, she said, “it’s a Judgment Day for crypto KOL.”
Chinese Supreme Court to Link Crypto Trading With Criminal Law
Winston Ma, adjunct professor at NYU Law School, stated, “the government makes it clear that no Chinese version of Elon Musk can exist in the Chinese crypto market.” Ma, who has authored a book called “digital war”, expects the country’s supreme court to publish an interpretation that may link crypto mining and trading with the body of criminal law.
A financial regulator who feels the existing legal framework fails to address Bitcoin trading as illegal agreed with Ma’s prediction. According to the analyst, an interpretation can aid in the classification of “illegal operations.” So far, all the rules enacted against cryptocurrency have been published by administrative bodies.
In the meantime, Chinese media networks also stepped up their coverage of crypto scams. State broadcaster CCTV has criticized cryptocurrencies for being lightly regulated and used in black market trade, money laundering, arms smuggling, gambling, and drug dealings. The current round of restrictions coincides with the Chinese central bank’s advanced testing of its own digital currency.