China blocks crypto-related Weibo accounts to revise its role in bitcoin mining

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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As China is reconsidering its central role in bitcoin trading and mining, a large number of crypto-related accounts in the country’s Twitter-like platform, Weibo  were blocked over the weekend.

The amount of electricity needed to power vast numbers of computers used to create new bitcoin does not support China’s recent climate goals. The government has not permitted any legal exchange of bitcoin for years in the country. In light of this, more actions are expected, including linking illegal crypto activities in China more directly with the nation’s criminal law, according to analysts and a financial regulator.

Last month, China’s State Council vowed to crack down on bitcoin mining and trading, putting forward a campaign against cryptocurrencies days after three industry bodies banned crypto-related financial and payment services.

Over the weekend, access to several widely followed crypto-related Weibo accounts was blocked, with a message saying these accounts violated laws and rules. “It’s a Judgment Day for crypto KOL”, wrote a Weibo bitcoin commentator, or key opinion leader (KOL), who calls herself “Woman Dr. bitcoin mini.”

“The government makes it clear that no Chinese version of Elon Musk can exist in the Chinese crypto market,” said NYU Law School adjunct professor Winston Ma, referring to the Tesla founder and cryptocurrency enthusiast.

The view was echoed by a financial regulator, who said that such an interpretation would address the legal ambiguity that has failed to clearly identify bitcoin trading businesses as “illegal operations”. All the rules against cryptocurrencies so far in China have been published by administrative bodies.

The account block in Weibo comes as Chinese media have started reporting against crypto trading. Further it comes in light of the country’s central bank accelerated testing of its own digital currency.

Related: China’s crypto miners look to duck govt crackdown; Focus shifts to US, Europe