The Chinese government is reportedly moving to block domestic access to overseas websites that offer services for cryptocurrency trading and ICO investments.
A report from Financial News, a website tied to the People's Bank of China (the country's central bank), indicates that authorities there are stepping up a crackdown that began roughly a year ago.
"To prevent financial risks, China will step up measures to remove any onshore or offshore platforms related to virtual currency trading or ICOs," the website reported, according to a translation published by the South China Morning Post.
The move comes months after China formally banned investments in initial coin offerings (ICOs), deeming the blockchain use case to constitute a form of illegal financing. Authorities there also shuttered online websites for crypto-trading, with the "Big Three" exchanges closing this past fall.
The new reports show that China is now targeting overseas websites catering to local users. According to the translation from SCMP, the actions are begin taken because "after the closure of the domestic virtual currency exchanges, many people turned to overseas platforms to continue participating in virtual currency transactions."
A separate Feb. 4 report from Chinese-language news service Xinhua and published on bitcoin social media site 8btc, cites a statement from the People's Bank of China regarding the overseas website ban. Per the statement, authorities are moving to "ban all crypto-related commercial business including banning and blocking both domestic and offshore cryptocurrency trading platform websites."
"Once found, will be immediately shut down. The future depends on its development and does not rule out the possibility of unveiling further regulatory measures," the report further adds.
PBoC image via Shutterstock