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China’s Crypto Crackdown Gains Steam as Media Outlets Go Dark

China-based crypto outlets ChainNews and Odaily have both become inaccessible over the past few days and neither of the outlets have stated a reason. Instead, both outlets have continued their activity on Twitter and Telegram, apps that are banned in China. The government in China imposed a blanket ban on all forms of cryptocurrency trading back in September and it is possible that the Chinese government isn’t letting up any pressure on the crackdown as popular cryptocurrency news outlets now begin suspending operations.

As per a report by CoinDesk, ChainNews, an outlet that has a Twitter handle with more than 35,000 followers tweeted out to its followers earlier this week that its website would suspend service for eight to 10 hours “due to ‘upgrade maintenance’, but the site has remained inaccessible ever since, both inside and outside China. The ChainNews Telegram and Twitter handles meanwhile have been active throughout this downtime.

Similarly, Odaily, which is a digital outlet covering cryptocurrency and the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) space, has also been in the process of moving to a new URL and has been inoperable for long. The outlet, via a tweet in early October, invited its users to join its Telegram community.

While not an out-and-out news outlet, Block123 — China’s leading blockchain internet navigation site, has also been inaccessible over the past few days.

China’s top economic planning body earlier this week clarified its strict stance on crypto and also mentioned that its crackdown will continue, especially with regard to mining activities within the country. In an effort to become more energy-efficient and reduce its carbon footprint, China is starting to crack down on cryptocurrency mining activities.

“Chinese authorities are ramping up a crackdown on crypto mining, calling it an ‘extremely harmful’ practice that threatens to jeopardise the country’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions,” CNN reports. China’s Communist Party communicated its seriousness towards this stance after it removed a high-ranking provincial official from his post after an investigation found that he misused his judicial powers in promoting cryptocurrency mining.

This isn’t the first time that China has made overt moves to tamp down on cryptocurrency activities. The country has been using its regulatory muscle to try and prevent financial activity that circumvents government control.

That said, the recent crackdowns don’t necessarily reflect China’s dismissal of cryptocurrencies as a whole. The country has already been talking about releasing a digital version of its fiat currency — the yuan — as a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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