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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Virtual Currency Blog "Censored" By Chinese Government

A colleague of mine residing in China recently informed me that he could not access the Kevin's Corner blog. Further investigation revealed that no one in China could access it and the blog had been censored. Apparently, my last blog item suggesting that there could be a link between the purchase and sale of virtual currency and gambling raised some eyebrows in China.

It is no secret that I have posted a number of items on Kevin's Corner relating to the phenomenal growth of the use of virtual currency, the purchase of virtual goods, the sale of virtual goods and the trading of these items in China. A host of Chinese companies have gone public on the back of revenue generated from virtual currency and goods sale. The purchase, sale and auctioning of virtual currency and virtual goods is big business in China despite the efforts of PayPal to stop the trade on their property.

The recent Chinese government legislation banning the B to B trade of virtual currency certainly got my attention which in turn lead to a couple of blog items and a lively debate amongst my blog readers about the true purpose of the legislation. The debate still leaves me a bit uncertain on the legislation's true purpose. Was it designed to stop virtual currency trade from undermining the yuan as the base commercial and trading currency in China or was it designed to stop gambling related to gaming virtual currency's ability to be traded for yuan?

Either way open discussions about virtual currency trade in China are obviously not welcome by the Chinese government. In a centrally controlled economy the government wants to set currency valuation and to control commerce in a way that can be tracked by the government. Somehow virtual currency trade is threatening their control.

Clearly, virtual currency has proven to be a bit of a challenge for China. On one hand their stock market is filled with companies making million on game play, virtual currency trading and virtual goods purchase and sale. I image it is hard for them to sort out how to keep their new age economy growing and at the same time control the very engine that is driving the growth. I am flattered that someone or some bot decided to block my blog. However, I doubt that blocking my blog is going to stop the proliferation of virtual currency trading in China or the desire for Chinese residents to use virtual currency as a proxy for real gambling.

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