Apple Daily, a pro-democracy Hong Kong newspaper, has published a full-page ad on its front page promoting Bitcoin to its readers after the arrest of billionaire owner Jimmy Lai.
According to images shared on Reddit, the ad featured a representation of the flagship cryptocurrency with the text “Bitcoin will never ditch you” right below it, adding in Cantonese: “Banks, it’s not you ditching me today. It’s me ditching you.
Lai was arrested earlier this month as part of a controversial new national security law in the region. Right after his arrest, Apple Daily published an editorial vowing to “fight on” and upped the printers to publish 500,000 copies of the newspaper spreading the message, up from the usual 100,000 copies.
The ad criticized local banks which are reportedly clamping down on customers supporting the independence of Hong Kong. It added a few simple explanations regarding the cryptocurrency, detailing that “nobody can stop you from transaction on the network,” and that BTC itself cannot be shut down.
The ad further pointed out Bitcoin’s genesis block was in 2009, and that the cryptocurrency is “available to anyone regardless of their gender, identity, or beliefs.” According to Reuters, banks including Credit Suisse Group, HSBC Holdings, UBS Group, and Julius Baer Gruppe are broadening scrutiny to screen clients in Hong Kong for political and government ties.
The move could make it harder for some to access banking services, or locked them out of the financial system entirely. Bitcoin is a solution for those locked out of the traditional financial systems as anyone with an internet connection can participate on the bitcoin network.
Unrest in Hong Kong over the controversial national security law has been ongoing for weeks, escalating with the arrest of Lai, as it showed that even those with resources aren’t safe from being prosecuted under the new law.
Featured image via Unsplash.