China moves to limit activities relating to ICOs and Cryptocurrencies: game over or level up?

On 4 September 2017, the People's Bank of China ("PBOC") and six other government agencies issued the Statement on Preventing the Risks of Fund Raising through Initial Coin Offerings (the "ICO Statement"), declaring that fundraising through so-called initial coin offerings ("ICOs") is prohibited. The ban took effect immediately. In the days that followed, further actions were rumored that may suggest a broader shift within China to the burgeoning use of cryptocurrencies and fundraising through ICOs. In particular, various published reports suggested a plan was being developed to shut down all domestic bitcoin exchanges in China, which would severely limit the ability of individuals and businesses in China to buy or sell bitcoin and ether in exchange for renminbi.

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