The hard-to-trace transactions let traders make secretive bets, making it harder for the government to enforce bans.
Chinese users are currently unable to search for popular crypto exchanges on the country’s internet services amid reports of possible censorship.
Keywords searches for online trading platforms including Binance, OKEx and Huobi on popular internet services such as Baidu, Sogo, Zhihu, or Weibo are yielding no results. Other media outlets including CoinDesk first reported the possible blockage.
The Chinese government has recently renewed a regulatory crackdown on crypto mining and trading, helping send Bitcoin down about 45% since its peak in April.
The exchanges that appear to be impacted are some of the largest in the digital-asset world, with Asia-based users being among the earliest adopters. Binance is the world’s biggest crypto platform, with $30 billion in trading volume in the last 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap.com, a site owned by Binance.
The Chinese government has been tightening its cryptocurrency regulations since 2017 in an effort to control capital outflows and prevent speculative bubbles. Chinese Bitcoin investors earned $1.1 billion in realized gains last year, and were only second in those gains by those in the U.S., data tracker Chainalysis said in a recent report.
(Adds exchange trading volume in the final paragraph.)