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szdaily -> Business_Markets
New rules mulled for digital coin offerings
    2017-August-30  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

REGULATORS are preparing new regulations on digital coin offerings and may ban them until the rules are in place, the financial magazine Caixin reported Monday, as interest in the new fundraising channel grows rapidly in a regulatory grey area.

Digital currencies, also called cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and a growing stream of alternatives, allow anonymous peer-to-peer transactions without the need for banks or central banks.

They are also used by firms seeking to raise capital, in the form of initial coin offerings (ICOs) or initial token offerings (ITOs).

The currencies exist in a legal grey area, however, with regulators scrambling to come up with rules that will not stifle innovative funding models while also protecting investors.

ICOs have become a bonanza for digital currency entrepreneurs, allowing them to raise millions quickly by creating and selling digital “tokens” with no regulatory oversight.

But Chinese regulators, including the People’s Bank of China and the China Securities Regulatory Commission, are now considering how to handle ICOs, including whether to ban them outright until regulations are in place, Caixin reported.

The report on China’s plans follow comments from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in July that the tokens can be considered securities.

The popularity of coin offerings has surged in China this year, with 65 ICOs and 2.62 billion yuan (US$394.6 million) raised from 105,000 individuals in the country, Xinhua reported in July, citing data from a government organization that monitors online financial activity.

Marketing events for an upcoming ICO held over the weekend at five-star hotels in Beijing and Shanghai saw standing-room-only crowds with several hundred prospective investors at each event. (SD-Agencies)

 

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