PBOC Takes Fight To Overseas ICOs Targeting Chinese Investors

China de-facto central bank, People’s Bank of China (PBOC), has once again made it clear, Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) remain banned in the country. After cracking the whip on locally listed offerings, it appears the regulator has snow switched its attention to foreign ICOs targeting investors.

PBOC vice governor Pan Gongsheng says the regulator is maintaining a close eye on ICOs that have moved overseas but still trying to lure people in China to invest. According to the governor, ICO and crypto asset trading remain banned in the country and that ICO firms should not try to sway people to invest in them even if it is from abroad.

"Any new financial product or phenomenon that is not authorized under the existing legal framework, we will crush them as soon as they dare to surface,” said Mr. Pan

The governor made the remarks having emerged that a lot of projects that moved overseas are still making their offerings available in the Chinese market.  The regulator has since formed a working group, tasked with the responsibility of coming up with ways of blocking access to overseas ICO projects.

It is still unclear how the body will work to curb access to such projects as well as crypto trading that remain banned in the country.  Reports indicate that the body could collaborate with tech giants and platforms as it looks to root out such projects.

Messaging app WeChat has in the recent past increased scrutiny of cryptocurrency traders carrying out operations in its platform. The company has already restricted payment functions on the app by limiting fiat currencies that people can receive in a day as part of the crackdown.  Zhishi Xingqiu, a popular platform for retail investors has also started monitoring threads having emerged that some people were using the platform to solicit ICO investments from traders.

A ban on ICOs and cryptocurrencies came into effect last year.  The ban has resulted in a decline in global Bitcoin (BTC) transactions pegged on the Yuan, at less than 1%. Before the ban came into effect, China was the world’s largest market for cryptocurrencies when it came to trading volume.

While the country is yet to issue a ban on cryptocurrency mining, the sector has continued to suffer on the increased crackdown, which authorities maintain target illegal operations. The country has also maintained a soft stance on blockchain technology given the impact it is having on various sectors of the economy.