Cryptocurrency accounts blocked on the Chinese social network Weibo

Cryptocurrency accounts blocked on the Chinese social network Weibo - weibo1 1024x576 1Popular Chinese social network Weibo has blocked a number of influential cryptocurrency-related accounts. Several accounts reported that they had been denied access to their Weibo profiles over the weekend.

Chinese state repression

Some posted pictures online, showing a message on their accounts claiming they violated "relevant laws and regulations". No further information was provided as to why the accounts had violated the Weibo community rules.

Social networks are regularly used by cryptocurrency retailers and advocates, such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk, to discuss trading and markets.

The crackdown on the Twitter-like platform comes as Beijing is stepping up its efforts against online bitcoin trading and mining.

Chinese miners currently account for around 70% of the world's supply of Bitcoin, but the country has already lost its position as a global trading center after Beijing banned cryptocurrency exchanges in 2017.

Last month, three Chinese industry entities banned cryptocurrency-based financial and payment services. In recent weeks, Chinese media have also stepped up reports against cryptocurrency trading, warning of the dangers. Some critics have voiced financial concerns, as well as pointing to China's environmental goals.

As usual, the environment is involved

Bitcoin and other digital cryptocurrencies require a lot of energy to mine and it is feared that this could impact Beijing's goals of meeting clean energy goals by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2060.

Musk himself recently tweeted his concerns about the "rapid increase in the use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining." The electric car maker said last month that it will stop accepting Bitcoin as payment for its Tesla cars (Tesla shares - ticker TLSA), citing these environmental concerns.

NYU Law School professor Winston Ma said blocking Weibo cryptocurrency accounts "came as no surprise."

"The Chinese government has made it clear that no Chinese version of Elon Musk can exist in the Chinese cryptocurrency market," said Ma.

"This social media crackdown is only part of this effort to prevent regular retail traders from believing the get-rich-quick messages."

"In a sense, China has now set a precedent for cryptocurrency trading related to the application of social media."

Winston Ma, also author of the book, The Digital War, said China's supreme court could soon ban cryptocurrency trading.

"Even though China is the largest cryptocurrency mining market in the world, only a small percentage of the country's population participates in trading," said Ma.

"These Weibo accounts are the ones that promote cryptocurrency trading and provide links to trading platforms, using their social media influence to attract user traffic."