CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko have been blocked by China’s internet firewall [efn_note] Internet Firewall is one major way the People’s Republic of China regulates the Internet in China. Called the Great Firewall Wall, it operates by blocking access to targeted websites. It effectively limits access to foreign information sources and tools. Google Search, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, and a number of foreign sites and mobile apps have been blocked by the Great Firewall Wall. Formerly operated by the SIIO, as part of the Golden Shield Project, the Great Wall was taken over by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) since 2013, helping the Chinese Communist Party execute its cyberspace policies. [/efn_note]. Both sites provide crypto-market data and are the two most popular amongst crypto users globally. The Chinese government must have obviously considered access to crypto-market information a threat to the country’s anti-crypto policy.
The Internet firewall became noticeable in the early hours of Tuesday in China. It is believed that the cutting off of Chinese IP access is the result of a move by China’s internet censorship agency, and not a move by neither CoinMarketCap nor CoinGecko. CoinGecko Co-Founder TM Lee confirmed this, as reported by The Block.
The blocking of both CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko comes 4 days after the People’s Bank of China declared that all virtual currency-related business activities are illegal financial activities, warning that it “seriously endangers the safety of people’s assets”.
With this internet-firewall move by the Chinese government, it is becoming obvious that the war against virtual currencies, including cryptocurrencies or crypto assets, in China is not going to be fought by the People’s Bank of China alone. The war chest of the Government of the People’s Republic of China is also at the war front. So just as crypto companies are already on exodus in China, Chinese users of virtual currencies will no longer have normal access to crypto-market tools and information on the blocked sites.
While the Internet firewall blocks all users in China, virtual private networks (VPN) may still be used by users who are based in mainland China to access the blocked websites. Since the People’s Bank of China announced last Friday that virtual currencies were illegal and renewed its crackdown on crypto mining and crypto trading in China, the use of VPNs in China has started increasing.
Will other anti-crypto central banks and governments also introduce internet firewalls in their countries in order to stop the increasing adoption of cryptocurrency or crypto assets? Time will tell.
What does this scoop mean for the crypto asset buyer?
Considering that both CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko are two of the most popular crypto-market data sites, this latest move by the Chinese government is bound to affect China’s crypto economy. And given that China is a major player in the global crypto economy, the crypto market will most likely be impacted by this Internet firewall over the cyberspace of the People’s Republic of China. In the last 24 hours, bitcoin has lost up to 4% in price value. A month ago, technical analysis pointed at a ‘strong buy’ for bitcoin. A week ago, it indicated neutral. A day ago, it indicated ‘sell’. In the last few hours, it indicates a ‘strong sell’. It is not completely different with altcoins too, resulting in the crypto market generally going red at a time of fear and uncertainty. Pessimism. If China is seen by other anti-crypto governments to be making anything that looks like progress with its current war against cryptocurrency or crypto assets, it may spur the adoption of the same extreme measures by these governments. Bearish times call for extra caution. No financial advice.