China has blocked access to the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance, Huobi, and OKex, on all major Chinese search engines. This news was first reported earlier today by multiple sources.
According to Twitter posts from Chinese blockchain journalist Colin Wu (Wu Blockchain) and the bitcoin news channel 8BTC News, users are presently unable to access the three crypto trading sites on any of China’s major search engines, including Baidu and Sogou. Users are met with a “Not Found” message when accessing the sites. All three trading sites remain accessible on non-Chinese-based search engines.
This latest move follows the recent removal of cryptocurrency accounts on China’s major social media sites. On June 5, Wu tweeted that a large number of cryptocurrency key opinion leader (KOL) accounts were blocked on Weibo, one of China’s most popular social media channels. Not everyone involved in cryptocurrency trading believes the moves are part of a concerted effort. Some Twitter users suggested this news is a fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) tactic to drive up cryptocurrency prices.
China Moves to Eliminate Cryptocurrency
Despite some skepticism, the latest efforts appear to be part of a larger government effort to ban cryptocurrency in China. Beijing has called for a strict prohibition against crypto trading in recent weeks.
The Chinese crypto community has been on edge since late May, when China hinted at a crypto crackdown. Notes published after the May 21st meeting of the country’s Financial Stability Development Committee made clear that placing limitations on bitcoin mining and trading would be necessary to prevent financial risk.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said: “It is necessary to crack down on Bitcoin mining and trading behavior, and resolutely prevent the transmission of individual risks to the social field.” Neither Vice Premier He nor the notes released after the meeting specified precise enforcement measures. News of the statement quickly circulated through the crypto trading community. Bitcoin prices dropped by 8.5 percent on Coin Metrics upon the news.
Chinese Crypto Miners Ordered to Cease Operations
Following the May 21, 2021 meeting, enforcement efforts began. Crypto miners across the country, including those in Xinjiang and Qinghai, received orders to cease operations by June 9, 2021. The orders cited energy preservation as the reason for the ban on crypto mining. Xinjiang and Qinghai are two of China’s top energy-producing regions. The latest orders follow Inner Mongolia’s ban on heavy crypto mining in late May. Inner Mongolia was the first Chinese province to enact such a ban as part of China’s commitment to carbon neutrality.
The orders have caused many Chinese miners to migrate their operations overseas. Others have closed their operations and put their existing equipment up for sale. Cryptocurrency traders expect China’s actions to further lower bitcoin’s hash rate and the value of hash rate-backed tokens.
Across the board, those involved with the Chinese crypto market remain vigilant about further developments. In the meantime, they continue to rely on VPNs to maintain access to uncensored information and websites.
Two reputable VPN providers that are known for their ability to get around China’s geoblocks are ExpressVPN and NordVPN. These providers, among others, are frequently used by people from all over the world for all sorts of unblocking purposes, giving their users increased levels of online privacy, safety, and freedom. For more information about China and the country’s history of online restrictions, you can read our article “Censorship in China”.