China has been taking the fight against cryptos to a whole new level over the past six months, and this latest move from WeChat could potentially kill a lot of liquidity in the country. Back in August, China officially banned all commercial crypto activity and a slew of Chinese companies instantly began axing anything to do with crypto from their services. WeChat kicked off the party by closing down a number of crypto related accounts – even one belonging to Huobi. Now, WeChat has taken the battle against crypto one step further and has banned crypto transactions.
Crypto Transactions Being Terminated
WeChat updated its payment policy late on Tuesday night, now officially banning all crypto transactions through the platform. Crypto traders will have until May 31st to complete any transactions using the platform, and from that date the service will be terminated. The ban comes as another huge blow to the Chinese crypto trading community, as WeChat is used by a number of large OTC players as well as smaller peer-to-peer services. With the WeChat crypto transaction service shut, crypto trading in China will become increasingly harder – meaning we could see a significant drop in Chinese trade volume.
Urgh, Wechat just updated its payment policy .. merchant can’t serve any token issuance/fund raising or crypto trading activities, otherwise account will be terminated
Given most OTC transactions are happening in wechat, this may impact local liquidity to quite some extent pic.twitter.com/TdNIO6cggS
— Dovey Wan ? ? (@DoveyWan) May 7, 2019
WeChat Taking Out Crypto Influencers
This isn’t WeChat’s first dance with crypto crackdowns. Towards the end of 2018, WeChat started targeting to crypto influencers on its platform and closing down their accounts. Just months before the assault on crypto influencers began, a top 50 list of crypto influencers was published. The WeChat accounts that were deleted mimicked the list – causing many to fear that the list had in fact become a hit list for WeChat.
Baidu Joining the Battle
Not one to sit on the sidelines and watch the action, Baidu – the Google of China – decided to join in the war against crypto. Baidu shut down multiple forums related to crypto and altered its search engine results ranking algorithm to automatically de-rank crypto-related sites. It’s the first time that we’ve seen a major search engine take such drastic steps against an industry, and it’s certainly a step that would not be welcome in the west.
As China continues to fear Bitcoin and wage war against the entire crypto industry, other nations around the globe are starting to welcome the industry with open arms. If China continues to hold a negative stance against Bitcoin and cryptos, it could quickly be left behind in what is looking more and more like a crypto revolution.