China has always been a very interesting region to keep an eye on when it comes to cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, that is not always for the right reasons either, which is what makes every bit of news a double-edged blade. In the latest “publicity stunt” Chinese officials are now looking for ways to deanonymize cryptocurrency and blockchain service users.
Over the past few years, it has become increasingly apparent China has no real love lost for cryptocurrencies. While the actual reason behind this particular stance is still rather unclear right now, Its local officials will continue to crack down on this type of activity for quite some time to come. Whereas Chinese exchanges were once the driving force of cryptocurrency trading, they have now become all but obsolete.
That doesn’t mean the Chinese government is through with cracking down on cryptocurrency activity just yet. In fact, it would appear there is a new initiative taking place to clean up the industry a bit more. More specifically the Chinese government has approved a new guideline which will force blockchain service users to share their real identity with the authorities. This also extends to any user engaging in cryptocurrency trading, as exchanges will also be considered to be blockchain service providers.
The new guideline is slated to go in effect by February 15m 2019. From that point forward, any Chinese entity providing “blockchain information services” will need to provide their real identity to officials. This also impacts users who run a network node for cryptocurrencies or engage in using mobile applications for information services. It is evident the government wants to keep very close tabs on which Chinese residents engage in cryptocurrency activity, albeit the exact purpose remains unclear.
What is even more baffling is how all blockchain information service providers will need to warn the government about their service launching 10 days in advance. This means their personal information will also need to be submitted at that time to ensure the service is fully compliant with the new guideline. Anyone using these services will need to provide their national ID number or a phone number. Companies and organizations engaging in these services will need to share their government registration code.
All of this seemingly stems forth from the idea of how using blockchain services is still on the same level as being anonymous. No aspect about cryptocurrency or blockchain technology gives users any degree of anonymity, but it does provide a pseudonymous aspect. Whether or not that warrants forcing users to identify themselves whenever they access such a service, is a different matter altogether. Especially the part about mobile app usage requiring this type of information will raise a lot of bad blood in the process.
Moreover, it seems the Chinese government will demand blockchain information service providers to “censor content posing a threat to national security”. That is a very interesting stance on dealing with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, although one that will not necessarily go over well with the general public. For the time being, there’s still some time until this change goes into effect, but it seems unlikely the decision will be reversed anytime soon.
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