China Enlists Its 'Great Firewall' to Block Bitcoin Websites
China Enlists Its 'Great Firewall' to Block Bitcoin Websites
China renews battle against cryptocurrency trading
06 February, 2018, 16:18
The new reports show that China is now targeting overseas websites catering to local users. To wit, the communist country forced Apple to remove VPN apps from its App Store in 2017. Fearing strong response from the government, advertisements related to crypto currencies and ICOs have disappeared from the social media sites.
Beijing deems initial coin offerings illegal and orders all mainland-based cryptocurrency exchanges to shut down. Its role in the Internet censorship in China is to block access to selected foreign websites and to slow down cross-border internet traffic.
China is all set to block all websites related to cryptocurrency trading and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in what is seen as the government's attempt to wipe out the virtual currency market in the country.
As we reported at the time, the Chinese government banned ICOs in September a year ago, and followed that with a decree outlawing cryptocurrency exchanges. But, that didn't solve the issue of people accessing foreign services within the country. China began showing its hostility towards crypto currencies a few months back by announcing a blanket ban on ICOs, saying that 90% of them are fraudulent.
"Overseas transactions and regulatory evasion have resumed ... risks are still there, fuelled by illegal issuance, and even fraud and pyramid selling". After the closure of the domestic virtual currency exchanges, many people turned to overseas platforms to continue participating in virtual currency transactions. Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Facebook/Twitter, and Baidu, the Chinese equivalent of Google, have already banned cryptocurrency adverts on their platforms.
"I think the new move literally means it would be even harder to circumvent the ban in China...people promoting related business programmes may be arrested", David Zhao a private investor said. Also, to ensure their tools were not being used to funnel money into cryptocurrency trading.
The increased regulation comes at a bad time for cryptocurrencies and bitcoin, particularly which is experiencing a huge loss in value. Many of these accounts held millions of dollars of investor funds which has seriously hampered their operations. Over $100 billion was wiped off the value of the entire cryptocurrency market in 24 hours, with the market capitalization falling to $283 billion.
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