Chinese Regulators Blocking Crypto Exchanges on Social Media

News, Regulation | March 7, 2018 By:

Chinese regulators are reportedly targeting the social media accounts of cryptocurrency exchanges that still have a presence in the country.

According to Beijing-based media outlet Caixin, regulators are ramping up their efforts even further to completely clamp down on crypto activities in the country. The media outlet reported that regulators had forced social messaging platform WeChat to shut down accounts belonging to select crypto exchanges in a bid to further restrict the ability of residents to trade cryptocurrencies.

Content on the WeChat account of OKEx, the overseas platform launched by China’s leading crypto exchange OKCoin after it closed at home, is no longer accessible. Links to all previous content were replaced with a notification that reads: “The platform could violate the requirements of laws and regulators. The fact was revealed in the verification process conducted after receiving complaints from users. The account is currently locked and the content is unavailable.”

The Chinese government had forced the closure of local crypto exchanges that offered fiat-to-cryptocurrency trading pairs in September 2017. But Chinese residents have managed to circumvent these restrictions by accessing offshore exchanges.

As a result, regulators began monitoring Internet traffic to offshore exchanges, particularly those which had originally been headquartered in China. Chinese authorities are also looking to urge law enforcement agencies to further block the IP addresses of overseas crypto exchanges.

Last month, the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, ordered operators of payment systems to launch a “rectification” campaign and ensure their tools were not being used to funnel money into cryptocurrency trading.