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China Issues Stern Warning About ‘Cross-Border’ ICOs and Digital Asset Trading

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It’s official — Chinese regulators want to limit residents’ exposure to offshore cryptocurrency trading and ICO fundraising platforms. The Beijing Internet Finance Industry Association (BIFIA) issued a statement today (China time) that reiterated previous warnings, but put special emphasis on “illegal cross border” activities. It asked businesses and consumers to report such activities to the authorities.

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The warning, billed as a “reminder on risks” said: “These businesses even evolve into illegal cross-border fund-raising, cross-border money laundering, cross-border financial fraud, cross-border pyramid selling, illegal trading, market manipulation, illegal issue of securities, illegal token sales and infringing of personal privacy.”

Social platforms and non-banking payment agencies “openly induce those who do not have the ability to identify risks,” it added.

Here comes the official document. Click link for English version

— (@cryptovenus) February 7, 2018

Regulator Asks Businesses, Consumers to Report Crypto Activity to Authorities

The repeated use of “cross border” activities appears to refer to any foreign digital asset service, but likely means Chinese-owned and operated businesses located outside China.

The warning repeats the key risk message several times, making several mentions of “cross border” activities, “illegal digital assets” and “cash loans”.

In its final paragraph, BIFIA asked individual consumers and its own industry members to to “find any leads related to” relevant illegal activities, and “promptly report the fact to relevant departments of local government”.

China initially banned initial coin offering fundraising in September 2017, and then ordered all digital asset exchanges to cease operations over the next couple of months. In response, several Chinese companies registered entities in countries like the U.K. and Singapore, where they continue to provide Chinese-language platforms that target Chinese customers.

China routinely blocks websites it finds objectionable (including Facebook and Google) via its “Great Firewall”, but use of VPNs to access foreign websites is widespread. BIFIA’s statement did not mention any technical steps towards blocking the platforms.

At press time, the bitcoin price sat around $8,220 — up 15 percent over the past 24 hours.

Will this latest Chinese warning have any impact on trading activity or prices? Tell us what you think in the comments.

Images via Pixabay

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