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Hong Kong Newspaper Features Pro-Bitcoin Ad as CEO Faces Government Action

Cryptocurrency adverts have continued to pop up in traditional news media, and it’s not just in the U.S. According to a source on Reddit, the Hong Kong-based tabloid-style newspaper Apple Daily today recently ran an ad promoting Bitcoin.

Print Media Embraces Crypto

The ad, which boldly claimed that Bitcoin would “Not ditch you,” featured on a full page of the newspaper. While it promotes Bitcoin, however, it didn’t promote any industry-affiliated company. There’s no mention of where Hong Kong residents can purchase Bitcoin. The advertisement loosely mentions Genesis Block — a crypto firm based out of Hong Kong.

“Nobody can stop you from transacting on the network and it cannot be shut down. Bitcoin is available to anyone regardless of their nationality, gender, or beliefs. Bitcoin began with the Genesis Block during the financial crisis of 2009. Now, its time is coming,” the ad says.

Apple Daily’s Bitcoin advert is the latest in a string of pro-crypto ads to crop up in a newspaper. Two weeks ago, Galaxy Digital, one of the industry’s top venture capitalist firms and merchant banks, took out a large advertisement in the Financial Times. The ad from Galaxy reads: “Now is the time to invest in Bitcoin.”

The promotion explained the current economic climate and how 2020 is setting the world up for a seismic economic change. With so much uncertainty around, Bitcoin allows investors to hedge their wealth and preserve themselves.

Open Rebellion Against the Government?

However, Apple Daily’s relationship with Bitcoin might go beyond the surface. Bitcoin is known as an anti-government, anti-establishment asset, and it has become more prominent in a world where protests against government injustice are now prominent.

Hong Kong itself is in the midst of a struggle with China. After the Chinese government’s renewed efforts to annex the region, many have called for independence from mainland China and self-determination.

Tensions hit a boiling point last year, when protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong for weeks. Many free press sites turned to Bitcoin for funding as they provided fair, unbiased news for people to read. Given that many news sites are state-owned, sites like Hong Kong Free Press had to rely on crypto to survive.

Apple Daily had a run-in with the government too. It is one of Hong Kong’s largest print media houses, and its popularity only grew when its billionaire CEO Jimmy Lai got arrested on August 10. Lai was taken into custody for alleged violations of the region’s National Security Law, while authorities ransacked the newspaper’s offices on the same day.

Many saw Lai’s detainment as a crackdown against pro-democracy figures in Hong Kong. They showed up in numbers to support Lai by purchasing more of the newspaper’s publication and shares of Next Digital — the newspaper’s parent company. Next Digital’s stock shot up more than 1,000 percent as a result. 

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