The price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fell Saturday morning after a large number of cryptocurrency “Key Opinion Leaders” (KOL) on Weibo were blocked, a move some are viewing as signs of a further crackdown on crypto by China’s government.
According to a Twitter post by Chinese crypto journalist Colin Wu, accounts not involved in ads of exchanges have not been blocked.
Still, reports of the block, which hit around 5:30 a.m. ET, triggered a simultaneous drop in the price of most major cryptocurrencies. The drop you see in the following 12-hour price chart of bitcoin starting at that time was repeated again and again throughout the market.
The blockings have been independently verified by CoinDesk.
According a tweet by Dovey Wan, founding partner of crypto asset holding company Primitive Ventures, the blocked accounts are a mix of influencers, media outlets, miners and wallets.
"This time is much more widely cleansing it seems like, many industry players like wallets, individual influencers, media outlet, top traders and even meme accts are all shut," Wan said in a subsequent tweet.
The blocking of the accounts is rekindling fears of a crackdown on cryptocurrencies in China, concerns that have been weighing on the market over the past several weeks.
In recent trading, the price of every member of the CoinDesk 20 (with the obvious exception of stablecoin USDC) is down over the last 24 hours, ranging from Yearn Finance's (YFI) 1.59% drop to NuCypher's 15.9% plunge.
UPDATE (June 5, 21:15 UTC): Adds confirmation of the blocks, Dovey Wan comments.