China Stops Hotels from Hosting Crypto Events
China, who is arguably a world leader in censorship, has turned its eye once again to cryptocurrency, and while it would be near impossible for China to halt digital currency being traded within its shores completely, they are giving it a darn good go.
Digital currency is booming in China, in 2017 it was reported that approximately 80% of Bitcoin dealings took place in Yuan. Seemingly in reply, later that same year, the Chinese government released a list of sixty sites that they had identified as being leaders in trading of Bitcoin, and systematically closed each one down.
Now, almost a year later, this week reports are coming through from Chinese state news that China’s central government is now stopping hotels and theatres in Beijing from accommodating cryptocurrency events.
While at first look this latest step seems quite innocuous, one could regard this as the Chinese openly admitting that not only are they finding it very difficult to halt digital currency within their shores. This latest move also shows that they are more than a little worried about the continued spread and trade of digital currency in China.
On Tuesday this week, the Chinese government, in a further try at the censorship of cryptocurrency, moved to block even more media sites that trade and talk about cryptocurrency. By Tuesday evening several media outlet sites found their WeChat sites blocked, citing that the sites were going against new regulations. Coincidentally, some of the media outlet sites that were shut this week have raised millions via cryptocurrency in venture capital.
Also, over the past year, the government internet watchdog has also been trying to crack down on online chatter by stopping content containing words around digital currency on Apps, social media sites and in mainstream media – citing that their law that content providers are obligated to comply with Chinese national interests.
This is quite a change of heart by the government because in late 2016 and early 2017 the Chinese did try to incorporate blockchain into legislation. However, it didn’t work for them and they have now made it clear that digital currency in all its guises is against national interests, and they are trying to deter individuals and retail outlets away from any involvement with bitcoin reasoning that it is financially unstable.
However, where there is a will there is a way and currently, China is still the world leader in digital currency. As App and trading sites are closed by the central Chinese government one minute another one seems to pop up. What can be assuredly taken from this ongoing cat and mouse story is that it won’t stop here. In China where censorship of thought and words is almost a given is this trading a quiet revolution, a way of the people taking a little control back? One thing is for sure, this is not the end of the tale, there is bound to be more avenues the central government can stop news and trade spreading of this currency. Until the Chinese can either write digital currency into its own legislation and thus own the control of it or, make the trade and talk of it completely illegal this will be a continuing story. Besides, if you can’t go to a hotel in Beijing and attend a cryptocurrency event, there is always Shanghai.
By Joy Lewis.