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China steps up its crypto crackdown

August 9, 2022 5:23 pm

On August 9, China’s Cyberspace Administration issued a notice on tightening control of content and accounts relating to virtual currency investment. Under the notice, internet platforms such as Baidu and Weibo terminated over 12000 accounts and deleted over 51000 pieces of information such as “invest in bitcoin to make easy money”.  The CAC also terminated 989 Weibo accounts, Baidu Tieba accounts and WeChat Official Accounts, as well as 105 websites that promote virtual currency and publish tutorials on cross-border mining.

The CAC will work with other government departments to “strengthen the fight against illegal financial activities related to virtual currencies and protect people's property safety according to law,” says the notice.

By closing accounts, China affirms its stance on banning crypto in the country. Last year, the People’s Bank of China made it clear that all crypto-related activities are illegal in China, including services like offering trading of digital assets, order matching, token issuance and derivatives. Overseas crypto exchanges and related services who operate in mainland China also falls under the scope.

In order to counter the crypto craze, China has launched its own version of a fiscal digital currency — the digital RMB. The Digital Yuan wallet has been downloaded by 261 million people in China, with 72% using it for e-commerce purchases and 67% using it for public services such as transportation.