A popular bitcoin-related discussion forum on the web has apparently been blocked by China’s Great Firewall (also known as the Great Firewall of China, of course).
BitcoinTalk.org has stood for years as the predominant place for bitcoin conversation on the internet, but if this news is proven, our friends in China won’t have access unless they bypass their government’s censorship.
The news came from BitcoinTalk.org’s administrator, known on the web as Theymos. He posted to social sharing website Reddit.com sharing the news, which has no doubt sprouted chatter on the matter.
His submission includes a link to a website which tests connections to specified websites from certain points in the region — and several connection failures could suggest a blocking through China’s firewall. In the case of BitcoinTalk.org, the connection fails from all five testing locations: Beijing, Shenzen, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang Province, and Yunnan Province.
Ruling out any issues with the testing site, I tried running a test for NEWSBTC.com, which seems to have worked from all testing points.
Perhaps of interest is a response on the Reddit thread from a user in Shanghai who is attending a bitcoin conference noting his ability to reach BitcoinTalk.org. The explanation may be attributed to the fact that the conference is taking place within the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, which is mostly excluded from the Great Firewall in order to give foreign investors unfettered access to web services they rely on.
Either way, we can’t say we’re entirely surprised this could happen. What do you think?