Reports: China's Regulators Consider Suspending All ICOs

Reports from China suggest regulators may be close to taking action against entrepreneurs seeking to launch domestic token sales.

AccessTimeIconAug 29, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:52 a.m. UTC
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Regulators in China are discussing a plan to possibly suspend all initial coin offerings (ICOs) within the country, reports say.

According to Tencent Finance, regulators proposed an action plan in a meeting on August 18 hosted by the financial market department of the People's Bank of China (PBoC), the country's central bank. Officials from China's insurance, securities and bank regulatory body also attended.

Quoting multiple anonymous source "close to the regulators," Tencent reported that authorities are discussing a plan that would include putting limits on the size of ICOs, strengthening the information disclosure, supervising tokens and publishing investment risk alerts.

Further, should there be significant market risk, the report indicates regulators could possibly suspend all ICOs.

While that might sound extreme, it's worth noting that the PBoC suspended domestic exchange trading for months earlier this year, effectively taking the world's largest market offline overnight over concerns about customer safety.

Adding further evidence to the claim is that Caixin yesterday also confirmed a rumor that regulators are discussing a plan on ICOs, suggesting that any regulatory action will be based on an executive order published in 1998 by State Council, the executive Branch of the Chinese government.

Titled "Order on banning Illegal financial institutions and illegal financial business activities," the translated text reads:

"Illegal financial business activities include: fund-raising targeting not specific objects without legal approval, or other activities that the People's Bank of China identified as illegal."

The reports, while yet to be confirmed, come amid an uptick in ICO regulatory announcements internationally, with the U.S., Canada and Singapore recently offering guidance as to their views on the fast-emerging market.

PBoC image via Shutterstock

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