Coingecko and Coinmarketcap Blocked in China’s Cyberspace
The two leading cryptocurrency aggregator and market data websites, Coingecko and Coinmarketcap have been made inaccessible for users in mainland China. This is a result of the ongoing crackdown on cryptocurrency activities in the country.
According to reports, tests carried out using Greatfire.org, an online tool for checking if a website has been blocked by the Firewall of China, showed that both sites were blocked. Further inquisition also revealed that the inaccessibility of these sites to users in mainland China did not emanate from the platforms’ end. It was China that must have restricted access.
Co-founder of Coingecko, TM Lee said;
As far as we know, we didn’t block proactively.
China goes hard on crypto in 2021
China’s censorship of the cryptocurrency industry has taken a new dimension since the beginning of 2021. Unlike in the previous years when the ban seemed to stop at just releasing press statements, enforcement has been a major part of this year’s clamp-down activities by the Chinese cryptocurrency regulators.
In June this year, over 1,100 people were arrested in China over allegations of money laundering using cryptocurrencies. Those involved in mining operations have been forced to shut down or relocate to countries with more friendly regulations towards cryptocurrency activities.
Earlier this September, the regulators in China announced that they have concluded the crackdown exercise on cryptocurrencies, as it will only follow through with supervising the financial industry to ensure full compliance. At this point, many users assumed that it was time for the industry to take a breather from the pursuit of regulators.
Not long after this announcement did the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announce a new set of rules that has led to the latest surge of enforcement that is being experienced.
A new set of rules were announced by the PBoC which were targeted at “the further prevention and disposal of virtual currency transactions”. Also, the PBoC, at the same time declared all forms of cryptocurrency transactions illegal, with major consequences to accompany citizens who continue to engage in them.
Making way for digital yuan
The timing of the increased tempo in chasing down cryptocurrency activities in China has raised many opinions as to why the government is doing so. A lot of people believe that the government aims to eliminate competition for the about-to-be-launched digital Yuan.
China has been involved in the development of a national digital currency, the Digital Yuan for a few years now. With several tests having been carried out, it is expected that the digital Yuan will launch fully in a matter of months.
Being a communist state, centralization, and control of the economic sector seems very important for the Chinese government. Therefore, all efforts are being put in place to ensure that the decentralized economy encouraged by cryptocurrencies does not continue to expand.
Although the government has claimed repeatedly that its crackdown on cryptocurrencies is for positive reasons like fighting financial criminality, other than eliminating competition, its body language speaks otherwise.
The crackdown on Coingecko and Coinmarketcap is seen as one measure to starve the Chinese population of information on market developments. More related crackdowns could follow in the future as the cryptocurrency industry adjusts to what is becoming a pattern with China and its regulators.