Is BitcoinTalk.org blocked in China? Can you access it?
Yes, BitcoinTalk.org is blocked in China. Most users who attempt to access the forum from the mainland will instead see an error page.
Some users reported being able access BitcoinTalk.org from inside Shanghai’s free trade zone, which is known to have more lenient censorship rules in place than the rest of the country. Others say they’ve been able to access the site when using mobile data on their smartphones, but not on their landline internet connection. This suggests not all internet service providers have implemented the ban, but it appears to be blocked for the majority of users.
Tip: VPNs allow you to unblock sites from within China. However, many VPNs themselves have been blocked, so pick a provider from our tried-and-tested China VPN list.
The Great Firewall, China’s nationwide internet censorship system, first started censoring BitcoinTalk.org in September 2014. Since then, China has continued to take a hard stance on cryptocurrencies in general, preventing its citizens from trading freely and banning ICOs altogether.
Chinese authorities have long been adverse to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They also tend to censor forums and social media sites in which Chinese people can converse freely with Westerners. BitcoinTalk.org checks both those boxes, so the ban is not surprising.
Despite being censored, the Chinese subforum on BitcoinTalk.org is very active, with new posts filling the front page every day.
How to unblock BitcoinTalk.org in China
You can access BitcoinTalk.org while in China by connecting to a VPN. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN encrypts all of a device’s internet traffic and routes it through a server in a remote location of the user’s choosing. Case in point, users in China who want to access BitcoinTalk.org can connect to a server in some other country where the site isn’t blocked.
VPNs are typically paid subscription services. They cost a few dollars per month and can be installed on most major operating systems including Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
Be aware that not all VPNs can bypass the Great Firewall. Chinese authorities are aware of VPN users accessing censored content, and thus have taken measures to block connections to known VPN servers. Therefore, we strongly recommend you check out our list of the best VPNs for China, all of which are proven to bypass the GFW.
All of the VPNs we recommend make their own apps. We recommend using these apps as they are much easier and usually have extra built-in security and performance features. The alternative is to configure the VPN manually, which is quite tedious especially if you want to connect to more than one server.
Our top recommendation is ExpressVPN. A veteran provider for users in China, ExpressVPN is the cream of the crop when it comes to unblocking websites, accessing geo-locked content from abroad, and protecting your privacy with best-in-class security.
Once you sign up for an account, you just need to download, install, and activate the software. Run the program, select a server outside of China where BitcoinTalk.org isn’t blocked, and connect. Once the connection is established, you can access the BitcoinTalk.org forums normally.