China is to block all websites linked to cryptocurrency trading and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in a bid to clampdown on the market.
Last September, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), outlawed domestic trading at digital currency exchanges as it attempted to completely eradicate trading. However, mainland investors simply moved to overseas platforms to continue trading.
Now, after realising its failed efforts the PBoC is stepping up measures to remove any onshore and offshore platforms linked to cryptocurrencies and ICOs, according to a report from the South China Morning Post, highlighting an article published in the Financial News, a publication linked to the PBoC.
ICOs and virtual currency trading did not completely withdraw from China following the official ban … after the closure of the domestic virtual currency exchanges, many people turned to overseas platforms to continue participating in virtual currency transactions.
It added that ‘risks are still there’ and that regulations would be tightened on domestic traders taking part in ICOs and cryptocurrency trading.
According to Wayne Cao, who runs a company that recently offered 10 billion tokens in an ICO, this move from the PBoC will ‘definitely weigh on the cryptocurrency universe,’ adding:
Most of the Chinese ICO projects are invested in by Chinese investors. So if they are blocked, the whole cryptocurrency market will be dragged down.
News of this comes at a time when the cryptocurrency market has experienced a tough week. Such is the impact of increasing regulatory pressure that bitcoin’s value fell below $8,000, dropping over 12 percent during Monday morning trading. Notably, though, across the board digital currencies were recording prices in the red.
Yet, according to Ace Yang, executive director of Cathay Capital, a private equity firm based in Beijing, this is good news for other countries.
It’s positive news for Japan and Singapore, because demand for participating in trading is not diminishing and traders have got to go somewhere.