PRC regulator blames fraud for ICO ban

Author: Amélie Labbé | Published: 8 Sep 2017

China’s central bank has banned companies from raising funds via initial coin offerings (ICOs), a further sign it is stepping up efforts to regulate the booming local token sales market.

A People’s Bank of China (PBoC) committee outlawed ICOs in a September 4 notice because of the disruption they cause to the 'economic and financial order,’ alleging instances of fraud and criminal activity arising from these offerings.

It echoes a similar move made by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) which warned in August that token sales can be vulnerable to money laundering and terrorist financing. However, MAS has chosen to regulate them as opposed to preventing them, along with the US and the UK.

Chinese regulators have been increasing their oversight of cryptocurrencies since the beginning of the year, and this latest announcement has left the market unsure of the way forward.

"By criminalising ICOs, China has...