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China Unironically Bans Blockchain Slurs as Crypto Launch Looms

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  • Authoritarian China has unironically banned criticism of blockchain technology.
  • The move comes after President Xi Jinping publicly called for more blockchain research.
  • The crypto industry remains divided about China’s sudden pivot.

In one of the biggest U-turns in crypto history, China professed its love for blockchain. Now, the nation is going as far as to penalize anyone who dares oppose it.

Chinese President  Xi Jinping recently rocked the crypto industry with a speech exalting blockchain, praising the economic benefits and efficiencies available through the technology.

The bitcoin price soared in the wake of that speech, and coins associated with China shot even higher – even though virtually no one believes China will advocate for decentralized cryptocurrencies.

China Backs Blockchain by Blocking the Haters

Now, according to cnLedger, a primary source for crypto news in China, the country’s newfound love for blockchain has led the government to ban all articles that claim blockchain is a scam.

Now, if the irony wasn’t already painfully obvious, it’s important to note that China – a country notorious for banning almost everything – has clamped down hard on crypto in the past. Between cracking down on bitcoin mining, blocking foreign cryptocurrency exchanges, and – most pertinent of all – deleting blockchain-based news accounts on WeChat, it’s fair to say China has a rocky relationship with the industry.

The blockade on blockchain criticism coincides with the ongoing construction of the country’s sovereign “cryptocurrency.” Li Chen, a researcher of Chinese financial regulations and developments, told Fortune that the digital currency was likely on its way:

“I think there’s a high chance that China will be among the first batch of global central banks to launch a digital currency.”

Blockchain Adoption Is Ramping up in China

According to cnLedger, blockchain awareness has been on the rise in China. One incredible example comes from China’s most popular app, Xuexi Qiangguo, or “Study the Great Nation,”  which now features a course on blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Meanwhile, Guangzhou officials have announced a ~$150 million fund for “outstanding blockchain projects,” though the announcement appears to exclude from contention any projects that feature native cryptocurrency tokens.

Crypto venture capitalist, Dovey Wan, underscored the importance of this, noting that funding initiatives will likely extend to other local governments, given China’s competitive nature.

While the crypto markets rejoice at China delving headfirst into blockchain adoption, one question remains: Is this truly good for the crypto industry?

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.