Icos have become a bonanza for digital currency entrepreneurs, globally and in China, and have provided the fuel for a rapid ascent in the value of cryptocurrencies this year that has driven fears of a bubble that could burst.
Zennon Kapron, director of the Shanghai-based financial technology consultancy Kapronasia, said he suspected regulators were putting the brakes on ICOs in order to better understand the phenomenon, but could ease off in the future.
In July, the state news agency Xinhua cited data from a government organization that monitors online financial activity to report that there had been 65 ICOs so far during the year raising a combined 2.62 billion yuan ($394.6 million) from 105,000 individuals in the country.
Oliver Bussman, previously chief innovation officer at UBS and now president of the Switzerland-based “Crypto Valley Association” that promotes blockchain-based technology, said Chinese authorities had to be especially vigilant about protecting consumers because of the lack of financial advice in the country, compared with Europe or North America.
Reporting by Jemima Kelly in London, John Ruwitch in Shanghai, Elias Glenn and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Richard Borsuk and Sam Holmes/Jeremy Gaunt
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