Organizers of various crypto communities on WeChat are shutting down their private groups following the latest crackdown from China’s central bank, according to screenshots obtained and authenticated by CoinDesk.
The community organizers are encouraging group members to join their new or existing Chinese Telegram group, while some of the members are also creating new channels for their communities on Discord.
The move came after the People’s Bank of China started carrying out an extensive crackdown on crypto last week, declaring all crypto-related transactions illegal. According to the latest notice, individuals who live inside China but work for off-shore crypto exchanges can be subject to legal prosecution.
“TZ (Tezos) APAC will move the group to Telegram based on the feedback from our members, and there will be the latest news and community activities in the Telegram group,” an organizer named tezos.Care said in a public notice in the group. “To build the community on Telegram, we will host a few fun activities starting from October, only on Telegram.”
WeChat, which is one of the most popular social media platforms in China, has been a crucial part of community building for crypto projects in the country. The projects tend to have multiple WeChat groups because there can only be up to 500 people in one group on the platform. Members share news such as airdrops (the sending of free tokens to wallet addresses), price movements and technical upgrades about the projects in the groups.
CORRECTION (Sept. 29, 19:04 UTC): A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that FTX was based in Hong Kong. The crypto exchange recently moved its headquarters to the Bahamas.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.