MGT Chief and cybersecurity visionary John McAfee disputed reports that China’s bitcoin ban will extend to mining.
McAfee made that claim on Twitter after posting a picture of himself dining with Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu and bitcoin cash proponent Roger Ver. He stated that Wu was explaining China’s position on cryptocurrency.
One Twitter user asked the question that is at the forefront of many discussions within the cryptocurrency community today: Will China ban bitcoin mining? McAfee replied that “They are not,” while telling another user that Wu “is more connected than me or [you]” and is thus worth listening to on matters related to Chinese cryptocurrency regulation.
This claim, if accurate, contradicts rumors and reports that China’s crackdown on bitcoin will not be limited to order-book exchanges. First, a document began circulating that claimed the Chinese government is planning to block residents from accessing websites for foreign bitcoin exchanges such as Bitfinex, Bitstamp, and Bithumb, along with peer-to-peer trading platforms such as LocalBitcoins. The document was unverified, but it was passed along by at least one Bitcoin Core developer, and Blockstream CSO Samson Mow indicated there was a high probability it was true.
Second, the Wall Street Journal stated that a closed-door meeting had taken place on Friday between Chinese regulators and industry executives. In the meeting, the regulators reportedly communicated that over-the-counter (OTC) bitcoin trading would not be allowed to continue. The Journal also spoke with an unnamed mining industry insider who expressed concerns that China was planning to issue shutdown orders to Chinese mining companies and pools, which account for about 65% of the total network hashrate.
In addition to the China bitcoin ban, McAfee revealed that he, Ver, and Wu discussed bitcoin cash. McAfee revealed that he is holding bitcoin cash. “Do not ignore it,” he warned one user critical of the fork. However, when asked whether he supported Bitcoin Core, SegWit2x, or bitcoin cash, he stated “Right now I support everyone….Except the homeless person who ate someone’s face.”
Featured image from Flickr.