Is a Crypto Ban Viable When 30% of Chinese Citizens Use VPNs?

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  • Data reveals that 31% of Chinese internet users utilize VPN services to get around the country’s “Great Firewall.”
  • China has recently blocked CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap, the two most popular crypto market data sites.
  • Ostensibly, the country aims to limit Chinese residents’ exposure to crypto market information.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has recently unveiled new measures that ban all crypto transactions, including those processed over the OTC markets. Consequently, a new wave of FUD and uncertainty hit the crypto market, even pushing Chinese users into selling their USDT holdings at a discount.

However, with over 30% of Chinese internet users utilizing VPN services to pass over internet restrictions and censorships, is a crypt ban really enforceable?

Getting Around the “Great Firewall of China”

In 1998, China created its “Great Firewall,” a techno-legislative shield enforced by the country’s central bank with an aim to restrict mainland China residents from reaching select foreign websites, as well as banning IP addresses from abroad to access internal data.

Following the latest moves by China to toughen the crackdown on cryptocurrencies, crypto exchanges like Binance and Huobi have also been blocked by the country’s “Great Firewall.” However, users can still access these exchanges using VPNs (a virtual private network).

Data by a Statista survey reveals that around 31% of Chinese internet users utilize VPN services to get around the country’s firewall. This figure has received a boost recently since China has banned cryptocurrencies, as well as online gaming.

In late August, the National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) revealed a new law that largely restricted gaming time for those below 18 years old. As per the new measures, those under 18 can only play between 8pm and 9pm only on weekends and other holidays.

Arguably, there are too many people in China for the government to be able to effectively enforce new laws.

CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap Blocked by China’s Firewall

Aside from crypto exchanges, China has extended its crackdown on crypto market data sites, attempting to restrain Chinese residents’ exposure to the crypto market information.

CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap, the two most popular crypto market data sites, are now blocked by China’s “Great Firewall.” While it is not clear when exactly they became inaccessible, Chinese users started reporting issues accessing these sites starting Tuesday morning at China time.

Agents from CoinGecko claim they have not blocked access from Chinese IP addresses, rather this is a move by the country’s firewall. “As far as we know, we didn’t block proactively,” said TM Lee, co-founder at CoinGecko.

Alibaba to Ban Sales of Crypto Mining Rigs

After China’s increased scrutiny over the crypto market, now Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba reveals that it would halt the sales of mining rigs on its platform starting October 8. An announcement by Alibaba read:

After thorough evaluation, taking into account the instability of laws and regulations on virtual currencies and relevant products in various international markets, will prohibit the sale of virtual currency miners in addition to the prohibition against selling virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, BeaoCoin, QuarkCoin, and Ethereum.