Chinese authorities urge citizens to refrain from participating in cryptocurrency ICOs

Financial regulators and police in China's Liaoning province have urged investors not to participate in initial coin offerings (ICOs) as the activity is considered illegal in the country.

Local authorities say that through groups on the WeChat messenger, attackers are looking for future victims, offering to download applications for investing in cryptocurrencies and metaverses. In addition to illegal fundraising, users may encounter fraud and other criminal activities related to cryptocurrencies, officials fear.

The public warning from Liaoning provincial authorities followed several notices from Chinese regulators, including the People's Bank of China (PBOC), reminding them that the issuance and trading of tokens is illegal.

Back in September 2021, the Supreme People's Court announced a ban on trading cryptocurrencies in mainland China. Services provided even by foreign crypto exchanges to local residents are considered illegal financial activities.

However, the Chinese authorities are actively working on the implementation of blockchain. Late last year, the government partnered with the Blockchain Service Network (BSN) to test a new identity verification platform, RealDID.

The NBK is thinking through new scenarios for using the digital yuan. Central bank officials say people should be able to pay with CBDC in all retail scenarios. To achieve this, China is increasing the number of retail outlets and the volume of transactions in digital yuan.