Paying the Price: WeChat Merchants Banned From Crypto Payments
Henry Linver's original article for cointelegraph.com reduced by 52%
On May 7, Dovey Wan, founding partner of crypto investment firm Primitive Ventures tweeted that the Chinese social media behemoth and payment service provider WeChat is set to ban merchants from making cryptocurrency payments. A Reuters report published on April 9 revealed that the Chinese government is considering placing a ban on crypto mining. In February 2018, CNN Money reported government attempts to force miners into making an "Orderly exit" from the industry through taxation and by linking crypto mining to environmental dangers.
These alleged environment concerns have also been echoed by the National Development and Reform Commission, which has included crypto mining as one of the industrial activities it intends to discontinue, as it "Lacked safe production conditions, seriously wasted resources, polluted the environment." This latest targeting of crypto mining comes under the auspices of the NDRC's Catalogue for Guiding Industry Restructuring, which has been responsible for monitoring industry in the country since 2005. Less than a year on, the company added artificial intelligence to its list of products after taking a beating from the crypto bear market and a decline in profits from mining and mining hardware sales. The company's decision to toughen its stance on OTC trading comes against the backdrop of other trading platforms, including peer-to-peer and OTC resources being banned as part of a blanket prohibition on wider crypto trading activity since September 2017.News about Alipay's decision to block a number of accounts soon spread to the crypto community, with Red Li, co-founder of the Chinese crypto community 8BTC tweeting a screenshot of the announcement from Alipay, stating that "#alipay is blocking accounts involved in bitcoin otc trading.
The same month, WeChat blocked several accounts suspected of publishing initial coin offerings, along with the official sales channel of the bitcoin mining behemoth Bitmain, due to an alleged licence violation.
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