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PBOC: All ICO Platforms and Cryptocurrency Exchanges Have ‘Safely’ Exited from China

Chinese financial authorities have reiterated their stance on Monday towards ICO activities and cryptocurrency exchanges at a news conference in Beijing, saying that Chinese government will continue to escalate crackdown on illegal fundraising activities, and ICO projects and crypto trading platforms have safely exited from mainland China.

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While incidents of illegal fundrasing in China was decreasing in 2017, the situation remains complex and severe with a series of high-profile financial scams leaving victims devastated. And illegal fundraising activities have expanded to new fields, such as ICO, private lending, and equity crowd-funding, which have become the key regulation targets recently, according to a joint release by several regulators.

Gong Yan, deputy director of Legal Affairs Department of the People’s Bank of China(PBOC), the central bank, disclosed at the news conference that PBOC ramps up its clampdown on virtual currency-related activities which are suspected of illegal fundraising. Besides, PBOC and other regulators have taken severe measures against cryptocurrency exchanges which are involved in illegal fundraising and illegal securities activities, such as issuing warnings to investors and requiring local authorities across the country to shutter trading platforms.

“So far, all ICO platforms and cryptocurrency exchanges have safely exited from China. ”

On April 11, China’s newly-appointed central bank governor Yi Gang expressed a similar view on cryptocurrency at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018 in Hainan. “ Virtual currency contributes little to the real economy, and there are some speculative activities and even some money-laundering behavior manipulating the digital asset market. Therefore, PBoC has treated virtual currency with more caution.” Yi said.

After PBOC declared ICO illegal and shut down crypto exchanges last September, China’s major exchange operators like Okcoin, Binance and Huobi have closed their business in mainland China and shift their operations to HongKong or other countries. Some of them even offer OTC trading service for Chinese investor.

“The purpose of regulation is to prevent the public from trading cryptos through an extremely convenient channel. It does not mean to impose a complete ban on cryptocurrency trading, because it’s difficult to do that.” said Xiao Lei, a financial analyst and a keen observer of cryptocurrency.

Still, Chinese authorities will closely monitor the interest rates charged by private lenders, securities companies and futures firms to increase their scrutiny on illegal fundraising.

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