People in China are obsessed with Facebook’s recently announced cryptocurrency, Libra — which is striking, because both Facebook and cryptocurrency are banned in China.
As Coindesk reports, search trends for “Libra” soared — even a full month after Facebook’s announcement — on China’s biggest web platform Weibo.
It currently ranks as the number one nation in the world for “Facebook Libra” on Google Trends — seemingly outstripping interest in the United States.
Facebook revealed its plans for Libra in June. It’s a huge step for blockchain visibility, because Facebook is by far the biggest online network of people in the world.
China’s government has tried its best to quash the cryptocurrency market in recent years “to prevent financial risks,” according to the Chinese media. But its attempts have often failed at stopping all cryptocurrency trade.
Facebook and Google are also currently banned in the country — meaning these trend results should be taken with a grain of salt. But plenty of people in China have found ways around the government’s blocks using virtual private networks (VPNs) and other proxies.
The news comes after Facebook is facing bipartisan scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers for announcing Libra. Some are arguing it could be Facebook’s downfall. President Donald Trump also added to the chorus by noting that cryptocurrencies are “not money” and “based on thin air.”
READ MORE: Web Search Data Indicates Soaring Interest for Facebook Libra in China [Coindesk]
More on the Libra: Fintech Expert: Libra Could Be Facebook’s Downfall