Regulatory policy

WeChat targets NFT and crypto accounts with new policy update By BTC Peers

WeChat targets NFT and crypto accounts with new policy update

In a recent policy update, China’s leading social media platform, WeChat, decided to ban all accounts that provide access to crypto or NFT-related services.

Under the new guidelines, all public accounts on its platform involved in issuing, trading, and funding crypto and NFTs will now fall under the category of “illegal activity” and will be either restricted or banned outright. The policy states that:

Accounts that provide services or content related to the Secondary Transaction of Digital Collections will also be treated in accordance with this section. […] Once these violations are identified, the WeChat public platform will depend on the seriousness of the violations, request the offending official accounts to rectify within a specified period of time, and restrict certain account features until the permanent account is banned.

Targeted accounts include those of businesses trading between virtual and fiat or between cryptocurrencies, those providing information, mediation and pricing services for crypto transactions, as well as accounts involving issuance financing of tokens and the trading of cryptocurrency derivatives.

Hong Kong-based crypto journalist Colin Wu of Wu Blockchain announced the move on Monday, stressing the importance of the action given China’s more than 1.1 billion daily WeChat users.

The ban comes at a time when Chinese companies seek to comply with Beijing’s decree against speculative activities in NFTs.

The Chinese government implemented a gradual ban on the local crypto sector between May and September last year and judging by the timing of the WeChat policy amendment, the platform may have allowed some cryptography activities from going undiscovered since then.

Interestingly, there is still a regulatory gray area in the country regarding NFTs, as assets can be purchased through fiat currency.

Meanwhile, most organizations and platforms already prohibit secondary trading to avoid possible regulatory difficulties related to finance in technology. Since March, popular platforms like WeChat and Ant Group-owned WhaleTalk have moved away from the technology, allegedly eliminating or banning NFT services from their networks due to a lack of regulatory clarity and fear of a crackdown. in Beijing.

In general, officials in the country have maintained an anti-crypto stance, with the China Banking Association, China Internet Finance Association, and Securities Association of China issuing a joint statement in April educating the public on the “hidden risks” of investing in crypto. assets.

While sentiment around digital currencies has largely died down in China, with most major exchanges shutting down shop in the country, WeChat’s latest NFT crackdown will further dim the prospects of China regaining the top spot as world power in all things digital assets.

Ironically, data presented by a local media report on Thursday revealed that the number of digital collectibles platforms in China has risen to more than 500, a fivefold increase since February 2022.

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