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China Targets Offshore Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms With New Ban

China is working extra hard to stamp out cryptocurrencies completely in the country by banning access to all cryptocurrency-related websites, both onshore and offshore.

China started its crackdown on Bitcoin in the first week of September 2017 and also issued a ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) which were becoming very popular. By the middle of September, China asserted its stance and ordered the halt of all Bitcoin exchanges in Beijing and Shanghai. All cryptocurrency exchanges in the capital were ordered to submit plans of winding down and no new users were allowed to register on their platforms.

But despite the domestic crackdown on Bitcoin, Chinese traders were still able to find ways to trade in cryptocurrency. After the closure of many domestic virtual currency exchanges, Chinese traders turned to overseas platforms to continue trading. According to Financial News, a newspaper affiliated with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) overseas transactions and regulatory evasion continued to proliferate, fueled by illegal issuance, fraudulent claims and even pyramid selling.

It seemed that the traders only went on to several other illegal routes to continue trading the currency, which China started banning in the country because of the extreme risks that came with it. But as these illegal offshore activities have now come to light, it will be harder for traders to continue accessing foreign platforms since China will be officially blocking these off as well.

Donald Zhao is a crypto trader who moved to Tokyo after the crypto ban was invoked in Beijing last year. In a statement, Zhao said

It is common for people to use virtual private networks to trade cryptocurrencies, as many exchange platforms relocated to Japan or Singapore. I think the new move literally means it would be even harder to circumvent the ban in China as people promoting related business programmes may be arrested

Bitcoin is trading at its lowest since November 2016 and at the time of this writing is valued at $6,605. But despite its falling price, many traders are still interested in the crypto market and have moved their businesses and transactions to Hong Kong or Japan, while maintaining investment support from mainland investors.

The new ban on all domestic and foreign websites related to cryptocurrencies and ICOs follows an official order from the PBOC last month stating that all Chinese financial institutions will not grant any kind of funding to activities related to cryptocurrencies.

In addition to the bans, China’s major search engine Baidu and social media platform Weibo already followed Facebook’s recent move to remove all cryptocurrency and ICO-related ads on their websites.


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