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China Claws Back at Cryptocurrencies With Ban on Initial Coin Offerings

By Leng Cheng, Liu Xiao and Wu Yujian
The People's Bank of China said Monday that initial coin offerings, or ICOs, are unauthorized activities that may be rife with fraud. Photo: Visual China
The People's Bank of China said Monday that initial coin offerings, or ICOs, are unauthorized activities that may be rife with fraud. Photo: Visual China

It has been a wild week for cryptocurrency investors and enthusiasts. And the ride looks even bumpier ahead.

On Monday, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) publicly denounced fundraising in new blockchain-based currency, also known as “initial coin offerings” (ICOs). The central bank said ICOs are unauthorized activities that may be rife with fraud, and imposed an immediate ban of all current and upcoming ICOs. The PBOC also said those companies that had raised funds this way should liquidate the proceeds and give refunds to investors.

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