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China Flexes Anti-Crypto Muscle, Blocks Weibo’s Crypto Influencers

China has blocked cryptocurrency and decentralized finance (DeFi) accounts and influencers from Sina Weibo, which is the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, The Guardian reported.

As Beijing intensifies its influence over bitcoin and other cryptocurrency trading and mining, it is anticipated that similar activities are on the horizon, according to analysts and a financial regulator, per the report.

Popular crypto-related Weibo accounts were blocked over the weekend of June 5, said to be in violation of laws. The move follows China’s pledge last month to accelerate its crackdown on bitcoin mining and trading.

“The government makes it clear that no Chinese version of Elon Musk can exist in the Chinese crypto market,” Winston Ma, NYU law school adjunct professor, tweeted on Monday (June 7), per Reuters. Ma is the author of the book “The Digital War.” Ma also told Reuters that he anticipates China’s supreme court will issue an interpretation that could connect crypto mining and trading “with China’s body of criminal law.”

A financial regulator told Reuters that an interpretation “would address the legal ambiguity that has failed to clearly identify bitcoin trading businesses as illegal operations.” 

Cryptocurrency journalist Colin Wu said on his Twitter account, “Wu Blockchain,” that the move could indicate China “is orchestrating to ban trading and mining in its territory,” per “The total number of fans of these people is more than five million, and their influence on Chinese retail investors may not be less than Musk. The accounts blocked by the Chinese government are mainly recommending investment and trading crypto to retail investors,” he tweeted.

Bitcoin and crypto first started plummeting in mid-May when three Chinese agencies — the China Banking Association, a nonprofit, self-regulating association of financial services firms; the National Internet Financial Association of China; and the Payment and Clearing Association of China — sounded the alarm that the industry should “resolutely refrain” from doing business with electronic currency. 

Bitcoin prices further dropped at the end of last month on news that the Chinese Vice Premier Liu He told the State Council of the People’s Republic of China that a “crackdown” on bitcoin mining and trading was needed.

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