China’s Supreme Procuratorate Clamps Down on Blockchain Cybercrimes

February 27, 2024

By Sharan Kaur Phillora

In response to the escalating trend of cybercrimes facilitated by blockchain and metaverse platforms, China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) has intensified its crackdown on digital delinquency. The nation’s highest prosecutorial body has expressed concern over the sophisticated use of these technologies for online fraud, cyber violence, and breaches of personal information.

Here’s what we know:

Recent reports from the SPP highlight a worrying surge in crimes within the blockchain and metaverse realms, where cryptocurrencies are often exploited for money laundering purposes. Ge Xiaoyan, the deputy prosecutor-general of the SPP, revealed a 64% year-on-year increase in telecom fraud charges linked to cybercrime, underscoring the expanding threat landscape.

Beyond the digital frontier, traditional offenses such as gambling, theft, pyramid schemes, and counterfeiting have found new breeding grounds in cyberspace, complicating law enforcement efforts. Internet theft charges have seen a near 23% rise, while online counterfeiting and the sale of substandard goods have skyrocketed by 86%.

From January to November, procuratorates have brought charges against 280,000 individuals involved in cybercrime cases, marking a 36% increase from the previous year and accounting for 19% of all criminal charges filed.

Zhang Xiaojin, director of the SPP’s Fourth Procuratorate, specifically cautioned against investment scams proliferating within the local crypto economy, emphasizing the emergence of the metaverse, blockchain, and binary options platforms as new arenas for cybercrime.

While China adopts stringent measures against digital asset-related crimes, contrasting regulatory approaches are observed in Hong Kong. The special administrative region advocates for crypto-friendly policies to foster a regulated digital asset ecosystem that safeguards investors without hampering innovation.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has also addressed cryptocurrency regulation and decentralized finance in its financial stability report, advocating for international collaborative efforts to regulate the cryptocurrency sector. Following the PBoC’s 2021 announcement of a comprehensive crackdown on crypto adoption and mining, China continues to enforce strict policies against cryptocurrency transactions and mining activities despite its status as a significant crypto-mining hub.

About the author

Sharan Kaur Phillora’s thirst for knowledge has led her to study many different subjects, including NFTs and Blockchain technology – two emerging technologies that will change how we interact with each other in the future. When she isn’t exploring a new idea or concept, she enjoys reading literary masterpieces.

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