Regulate: World over, crackdowns
including illegal offerings, false information, fraud and pyramid schemes”, the PBOC sources were quoted as saying by Xinhua News Agency.
China had messaging apps related to cryptocurrencies removed from online stores, while administrative departments related to industry and commerce were asked to revoke the business licenses of companies engaged in virtual currency transactions.
Such measures are in line with a global trend. Governments and regulators the world over are looking to regulate or rein in trading in cryptocurrencies.
For instance, in January, the International Monetary Fund warned of risk from the soaring prices of digital coins, and called on regulators around the world to coordinate on policies.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission warned investors about potential risk related to stocks of companies that claim a relationship to, or engagement with, ICOs.
Similarly, the Bank of England denounced the “anarchy” of cryptocurrencies being used for criminal activities. The Daily Telegraph reported that BoE Governor Mark Carney said bitcoin was “a global speculative mania” rather than a useful new invention, and assured that regulation of bitcoin would be a topic for the G20 meeting this month.
But government response to cryptocurrencies has been varied. For instance, Japan amended its law last year to legalize virtual currencies like bitcoin as a payment method.
Amid all this, like regulators, experts have called for international cooperation on the regulation of digital currencies.
“Some countries have incorporated virtual currency transactions and ICOs into the legal supervision system. China can reach crossborder cooperation with these countries to protect the legitimate interests of financial consumers,” said Yang Dong, director of the Financial Technology and Internet Security Center, which is part of the Renmin University of China in Beijing.
Yang’s view may be linked to the fact that the China market used to be dominant in the world of cryptocurrencies, in terms of transaction volumes, computing capability and the devices used to “mine” digital coins.
In September last year, the