The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, highlighted the illegality of Security Token Offerings (STOs) in the country, English-language local news outlet South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports Dec. 9.
A deputy governor of China’s central bank, Pan Gongsheng, reportedly told a summit in Beijing “that ‘illegal’ financing activities through STOs and ICOs [Initial Coin Offerings] were still rampant in the mainland despite a nationwide clean-up of the cryptocurrency market last year.”
Gongsheng also said that if the government had not stepped in, the chaotic crypto market could have hurt the overall financial stability in China.
The central bank official pointed out that “the STO business that has surfaced recently is still essentially an illegal financial activity in China.”
Gongsheng also reiterated the stance that cryptocurrencies are associated with crime:
“Virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.”
According to the article, Gongsheng noted that “most of the financing operations conducted through ICOs in China were suspected of being illegal fundraising, pyramid sales schemes and other financial fraud.”
The article also mentions that the chief of the Bureau of Financial Work, Huo Xuewen, warned against STOs about a week ago.
“I want to warn those who are promoting STO fundraising in Beijing. Don’t do it in Beijing. You will be kicked out if you do it.”
On the other hand, blockchain adoption — the tech behind most cryptocurrencies — has been relatively embraced in China. As Cointelegraph recently reported, a Chinese Internet Court has started using blockchain to protect the intellectual property of online writers.
The legal basis of this development can be assumed to be the Chinese Supreme Court’s ruling from September, which established that blockchain can legally authenticate evidence.