Report: Companies, Investors Circumvent Chinese ICO Ban

A Xinhua News Agency investigation revealed ways Chinese crypto investors are avoiding the country’s ICO ban.

An investigation by the Xinhua News Agency has shown it is possible to bypass China’s Initial Coin Offering (ICO) ban, according to an article published September 26.

The investigation has shown that despite the government’s efforts to crack down on “ICO illegal financing,” investors can circumvent the law by using a “foreign shell” company, among other possibilities.

Xinhua reports that after China’s crypto regulations became more stringent, domestic virtual currency exchanges went overseas for registration — while appearing to be shut down within the country — and were still able to “provide trading services to domestic users.”

The agency specifically mentions Malta as a destination of choice, noting the existence of Chinese language versions of the now Malta-based companies. Xinhua also mentioned the use of Telegram messaging groups to coordinate with domestic Chinese users. Quoting an “insider source,” the news agency writes:

“It seems that the entire process platform does not violate the relevant policies, but the over-the-counter transaction[s] [have] actually opened a hole in the ICO token transaction.”

While authorities have attempted to block internet access to ICO projects in China, Xinhua states that most measures can be subverted by using a Virtual Personal Network (VPN).

Xinhua also claims that there are “self-media public companies” that play a role in advertising and promoting ICO projects within China.

China’s first outright ban of ICOs was enacted a year ago in September 2017. Earlier this month, the People’s Bank of China released a new document on its official website, stating that it would continue to guard against ICO and cryptocurrency-related trading risks.