China Bans Crypto Events in Beijing, Blocks 124 Trading Platforms
Despite a nationwide crackdown on cryptocurrencies already in place, the Chinese government went one step further and passed a decree forbidding all crypto-related events in Beijing’s financial district.
No More Crypto Events
According to local news outlet South China Morning Post, authorities banned all hotels, malls, office buildings and other commercial properties from hosting “cryptocurrency talks and promotions.” Although the news was circulated by mainstream media on Aug. 22, the official announcement was issued five days earlier on Aug. 17 by a local financial service department.
An unnamed official confirmed the document’s authenticity, adding that the increasing number of crypto-events in Beijing’s financial district led them to the decision, especially promotional activities for a myriad of obscure cryptocurrencies.
However, the document stated that the action was solely to protect public interests and the region’s financial safety, in addition to strengthening the Chinese yuan and improving the country’s economic stability.
The document, loosely translated from Chinese, stated:
“We now order every shopping mall, restaurant, hotel and office building not to provide venues for any events that promote or talks about cryptocurrency, and must report to the authority if such activities were found.”
The development is the latest in a series of regulatory actions against cryptocurrency businesses and event spaces.
In April 2018, a major blockchain conference was halted in Shanghai after local police stormed into the venue. While the blockchain-focused event was eventually canceled, the presence of an ICO business reportedly spurred police action.
The news follows in quick succession to WeChat’s decision to ban cryptocurrency media accounts. The service is the country’s largest instant messaging platform and a notable mode of communication for several cryptocurrency projects, both regionally and internationally.
124 Crypto Exchanges to Lose Internet Access
In broader news, Chinese regulators are intensifying their crackdown on crypto-exchanges and related trading services. Authorities have blocked more than 120 exchanges from providing cryptocurrency access to domestic traders, according to Shanghai Securities News.
Financial authorities, along with China’s National Fintech Risk Rectification Office, are said to have identified 124 trading platforms registered in overseas locations, which also possess international IP addresses, that are operating in mainland China.
The two bodies are tasked with blocking internet access to all named trading platforms and ramping up scrutiny of the cryptocurrency space.
Formed in 2016 by China’s State Council, the National Fintech Risk Rectification Office is a government-owned body that fights against financial risks and seeks to protect investor interests.
Most businesses moved to crypto-friendly locations like Singapore and Switzerland after China’s ban. And while popular cryptocurrency exchanges like OKEx, Binance and Bitfinex had their internet access cut off after China’s blanket ban on cryptocurrencies in 2017, local exchanges with significantly less trading volume appear to be operational.
The agency is also reportedly scrutinizing third-party payment providers that supply services to cryptocurrency businesses or handle crypto-transactions themselves.
Meanwhile, additional reports yesterday confirmed that WeChat may permanently shut down cryptocurrency business accounts, instead of merely disallowing access temporarily.
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