China’s anti-digital currency stance is extending into its social media sector. In the latest crackdown on the embattled industry, the country’s popular microblogging social media platform Weibo suspended the accounts of several digital currency influencers. Legal experts predict that this is just a prelude to an upcoming Supreme Court declaration that digital currencies are illegal.
Over the weekend, several digital currency influencers were unable to access their Weibo accounts, with many creating new accounts to relay their struggles. On their profiles, Weibo had displayed a message that claimed they had violated its guidelines and relevant laws and regulations.
One user, under a new account with the name Professor Hash, stated, “The account I’ve been using for years is suddenly gone. But I’m OK with it. The day was going to come sooner or later.”
Another user, under the name ‘Woman Dr. bitcoin mini’ stated, “It’s a Judgment Day for crypto KOL,” which stands for key opinion leaders.
Weibo, which is China’s version of Twitter, has over 500 million monthly active users. Twitter has just over 350 million monthly active users.
This is not the first time that Weibo is taking action against the digital currency fraternity. In December 2019, the platform banned the accounts of Yi He and Justin Sun. Yi is the Binance co-founder while Sun is the TRON founder. Weibo removed all the content that was on their accounts promptly. A message on their profiles stated, “The account has been blocked due to violations of laws and regulations and the relevant provisions of the Weibo Community Convention.”
According to one digital currency expert, this could be just a tip of the ‘Beijing digital currency crackdown’ iceberg. Winston Ma, an adjunct professor at the New York University law school, predicts that China’s Supreme Court will announce further clampdowns in the near future. One of these, he says, is that digital currency mining and trading will be linked to China’s body of criminal law.
Speaking to British tabloid Guardian, he added, “The government makes it clear that no Chinese version of Elon Musk can exist in the Chinese crypto market.” He was referring to the Tesla CEO’s rise as a digital currency markets demigod through his Twitter account.
The Guardian further quoted a financial regulator in China who also believes that it’s most likely that the Asian country will identify digital currency-related businesses as illegal operations.
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