Tencent-owned Chinese chat app WeChat has altered its terms of service agreement to stop merchants from raising funds using cryptocurrency or tokens, according to reports.
WeChat revised the terms last month, and without much fanfare. The new rules go into effect on May 31, and violators will have their accounts terminated.
A translated version of the new terms of service says users can’t “engage in token issuing financing and virtual currency trading platforms directly or in disguise.” Also in the update has a mandate against investing in precious metals on trading platforms, in addition to illegal futures and securities.
China has been steadily tightening crypto laws in the past year, and Tencent has been feeling the brunt of it. WeChat was forced to ban at least eight cryptocurrency media outfits for breaking Chinese law by publishing currency trading information and also for boosting initial coin offerings.
In other crypto news, this time involving Facebook, PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster wrote about the social media giant's plans to reenter the crypto landscape.
“The news last Friday that Facebook has plans to launch its own global crypto-based payments rails is déjà vu all over again. Déjà vu because it was 10 years ago, in May of 2009, that Facebook launched the alpha version of Facebook Credits. Credits was a virtual currency and payments platform used to power in-app purchases on Facebook. It shut down in 2012, 15 months after its official launch,” she wrote.
Webster predicts that Project Libra, which is a 2019 refresh of credits, will probably meet the same fate as its predecessor.
“The notion that Facebook is going to launch and ignite a global payments network, at scale, based on its own branded cryptocurrency and achieve global merchant and consumer acceptance is as likely as the predictions a decade ago that bitcoin and blockchain would, by now, become the internet of money,” Webster wrote.