Two most popular crypto market data sites have now become inaccessible for users based in mainland China.
CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap are currently both blocked by China’s internet firewall, according to tests run by The Block. Search results on Greatfire.org, an online tool for checking sites censored by China’s Great Firewall, also show that the two sites are 100% blocked as of press time.
It’s not clear when exactly CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap became inaccessible but users started to notice the blockage early Tuesday morning China time.
It appears that these data sites did not actively cut off Chinese IP access but rather it was a move by China’s internet censorship agency. “As far as we know, we didn’t block proactively,” CoinGecko co-founder TM Lee told The Block.
A CoinMarketCap representative said the firm has “no comment” when reached. On the other hand, Bybt.com has proactively restricted IP access from within mainland China. Greatfire.org’s test result shows Bybt.com has not been blocked by China’s internet firewall.
The censorship over crypto data sites is the latest sign of China not only forcing out crypto companies with roots and services in the country but trying to limit Chinese users’ exposure to market information.
That said, users based in mainland China can still access the two sites by routing through virtual private networks (VPN) to get around the firewall.
And the usage of VPNs is rising among the Chinese crypto community after the People’s Bank of China released toughened measures last Friday to intensify its crackdown on crypto mining and trading activities.
In fear of government retaliation, administrators of many chat rooms on Chinese messaging app WeChat in the crypto community have either changed their group names or dissolved the groups to migrate to Telegram.
Many of them also posted tutorials on how to set up VPNs and join chat groups on Telegram so that they can discuss crypto-related information more safely.