Over the weekend, cryptocurrency-related accounts on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media platform, were blocked as the country tightened its grip on Bitcoin trading and mining.
Hundreds of cryptocurrency influencers on Weibo have been unable toB use their accounts, according to local reports. Other users who visited suspended accounts were greeted with a message saying the accounts had broken Weibo guidelines as well as “relevant laws and regulations.”
According to analysts and a financial regulator, more actions are expected, such as linking illegal crypto activities in China more directly with the country’s criminal law.
“The Chinese government makes it clear that no Chinese version of Elon Musk can exist in the Chinese crypto market,” Winston Ma, an adjunct professor at NYU Law School and former managing director of China Investment Corporation, said.
China’s State Council, or cabinet, pledged last month to crack down on bitcoin mining and trading, launching a campaign against cryptocurrencies just days after three industry bodies banned crypto-related financial and payment services. Bitcoin’s price fell to as low as $30,000 as a result of this action.
A Weibo Bitcoin commentator known as “Woman Dr Bitcoin mini” has dubbed this “Judgement Day” for crypto influencers.
Winston Ma, author of “The Digital War,” predicts that China’s supreme court will issue a judicial interpretation soon that will link crypto mining and trading to China’s criminal law.
The stepped-up crackdown comes as China’s central bank conducts a test of its digital currency, with $6.2 million to be distributed in a new digital yuan trial in Beijing.