Regulatory agencies in China have jointly issued a warning against illegal fundraising and trading activities involving cryptocurrencies.
The warning was issued on Friday by five high-level watchdogs: the People's Bank of China, the Banking Regulatory Commission, the Ministry of Public Security, the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, and the State Administration for Market Regulation.
It notably takes aim at cryptocurrency projects that set up operations using overseas IP addresses but solicit investment from Chinese residents and use mobile and internet payments tools to facilitate cryptocurrency trading.
"Some of these projects tap celebrities and airdrop 'candies' as ways for promotion and solicitation. ... In fact, they manipulate the prices of such cryptocurrencies to make profits illegally," the regulators wrote in the warning, adding:
"Some individuals claim in chat groups on messaging applications that they are able to invest in overseas crypto projects on behalf of domestic investors as a broker. ... These claims are highly likely to be fraudulent."
The regulators also warned the public against new fundraising methods other than initial coin offering – including "initial exchange offerings", "initial fork offerings" and "initial miner offerings" – as ways to speculate on cryptocurrencies.
The issuance follows news from earlier this week that Chinese regulators are moving to block access to more than 100 cryptocurrency exchanges overseas that are still available in China.
Payments applications such as WeChat Pay and Alipay are also in cooperation with government agencies to monitor and suspend user accounts that are suspected of handling cryptocurrency transactions.
PBoC image via CoinDesk