China’s crackdown on crypto intensified over the weekend after it blocked the accounts of several bitcoin influencers

Close-up photo of a woman buying cryptocurrency through a smart phone app that is also showing the growth graph.
Close-up photo of a woman buying cryptocurrency through a smart phone app that is also showing the growth graph.

The accounts of at least twelve crypto influencers on the Chinese social media platform Weibo were shut down over the weekend, over violations of guidelines and regulations and laws amid China’s cryptocurrency crackdown, the South China Morning Post reported.

Bitcoin briefly stumbled after the news broke and fell to just above $35,000, but the price quickly recovered. On Monday, it was last at $36,534.02, up 1.5% in the 24 hours to 07:49 am E.T. according to CoinGecko data.

On Saturday, some creators were suddenly unable to access their accounts and users of Weibo, a Chinese microblogging platform like Twitter, could no longer see posts by those banned influencers. The appearing error message noted that the accounts had violated Weibo’s guidelines as well as government regulations.

One of the affected influencers told the South China Morning Post that he was not surprised to have his account suspended and had expected it.

China has been cracking down on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in recent weeks, as the government has raised concerns about the use of digital assets in financial crime and illegal activity, as well as their environmental impact.

This is not the first time social media accounts have been targeted as part of China’s efforts to squash cryptocurrency. Binance’s co-founder Yi He had his Weibo account suspended in 2019, as did industry heavyweight Justin Sun.

The environmental impact and concerns over the use of fossil fuel energy in the bitcoin mining process have been especially prevalent in China. Bitcoin mining is regarded as a highly energy-intensive activity and China is the biggest miner in the world – accounting for 65% of the process according to the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.

The Chinese government has previously stated it would target the crypto industry to try to reach net zero by 2060. Last month, crypto miners were forced to halt operations in China after the country implemented tighter regulations on their activities, causing bitcoin to fall below $32,000 to a four-month low.

Source

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