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China to ban initial coin offerings

By CHEN JIA | China Daily | Updated: 2018-02-06 08:09
A technician makes repairs to bitcoin mining machines at a mining facility operated by Bitmain Technologies Ltd in Ordos, the Inner Mongolia autonomous region. [Photo/BLOOMBERG]

Nation to curb illegal cryptocurrency exchanges via overseas platforms

Further regulatory measures to ban initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency exchanges, especially via overseas platforms, are on the way after some illegal activities were unearthed by regulators following the ban on trading of these products on domestic platforms last year.

A source close to the matter told China Daily on Monday that a package of measures to further restrict ICOs-an activity to raise funds akin to an initial public offering, and cryptocurrency trading both domestic and overseas, is being prepared by the People's Bank of China, the central bank, and other financial regulators. It is expected to be launched when "conditions are ripe".

Yang Dong, director of the Fintech and Internet Security Research Center at Renmin University of China, said that the potential measures may include tighter supervision on cryptocurrency accounts, especially for overseeing offline money transactions, as well as paying more attention to cross-border flows of foreign exchange in overseas ICOs.

"Even though it is difficult to supervise overseas cryptocurrency trading, measures can still be taken including restriction of online trading by blocking internet accounts, shutting down web servers, forbidding illegal traders from leaving the country and enhancing coordination with overseas regulators," said Yang.

He also suggested a "blacklist" of illegal traders of overseas ICOs and ban on them from relevant financial businesses in China.

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