China’s Blockchain Boom
The Guiyang Blockchain ICO Consensus, a protocol framework on Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), has just been released by several Chinese blockchain companies, including Guizhou Blockchain Industry Technology Innovation Alliance, Zhongguancun Blockchain Industry Alliance, Blockchain Finance Association, and Guiyang Blockchain Innovation Research Institute, among others. In addition to VC investment, ICOs are another means of financing blockchain endeavors using crowdsourcing, and are as yet unregulated in China. While the framework is not legally binding, it will likely serve as a baseline for Chinese authorities on how to potentially regulate ICOs going forward. This is not the first effort in China to provide guidance on blockchain technologies. Earlier this year, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) began inspecting the three primary Bitcoin exchanges in the country (OkCoin, Huobi and BTCC), with the possible aim of providing more oversight over Bitcoin activities. Over 80% of Bitcoin mining pools are based in China, owning on average 60% of the global Bitcoin hash power. This is due in large part to cheap electricity that allows for large mining farms. In June 2017, the PBOC stated it would not issue any regulatory guidelines, but would keep a watchful eye on the market.
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