Chinese regulators are moving to block more than 100 overseas crypto exchanges offering trading services to domestic investors.
Shanghai Securities Times, a mouthpiece of the Chinese financial authorities, reported on Thursday that the China National Fintech Risk Rectification Office has so far identified 124 trading platforms with overseas IP addresses but that are still available in the country.
The office now plans to step up its efforts in monitoring the space and to block internet access to these trading platforms, the report said.
Authorized in 2016 by China’s State Council, the National Fintech Risk Rectification Office is a government agency that aims to protect against financial risk related to issues like peer-to-peer lending and cryptocurrency trading.
In September 2017, the People’s Bank of China notably announced a rule banning initial coin offerings (ICOs) and, in effect, crypto trading platforms in the country. Following the notice, major exchanges based in China at the time moved their businesses overseas.
Currently, internet access to several major exchanges such as Binance, OKEx, and Bitfinex appears to be unavailable in China.
Today’s report also said the agency will permanently shut down domestic websites and official accounts on the WeChat messaging app if they are found to be providing crypto trading and ICO services.
The agency is also in talks with third-party payments vendors that are required to scrutinize and halt accounts that are suspected of handling cryptocurrency transactions, the report added.
Just two days ago, several Chinese cryptocurrency media outlets were banned from operating on WeChat, as reported by CoinDesk.
WeChat’s owner Tencent confirmed with news source Caixin on Wednesday that the ban was instigated because the accounts were found to have provided crypto trading and ICO services. Some of them were ordered to shut down permanently, the report said.