The People's Bank of China together with the China Securities Regulatory Commissions and five other governmental departments issued the Circular on Preventing the Risks of Financing via Token Offerings (“Circular”) on 4 September 2017.

According to the Circular, “token offering” refers to an entity's raising of Bitcoins, ETH and other "virtual currencies” from investors through the sale or circulation of tokens. Token offerings (including initial coin offers “ICO”) are unapproved and are therefore illegal public fundraising. They might also be considered as illegal sales of promissory notes, illegal distributions of securities, illegal fundraisings, financial frauds, pyramid schemes and other illegal activities.  

Trading platforms are prohibited from trading tokens or “virtual currencies”. Financial institutions and non-bank payment agencies are prohibited from providing services such as account opening, registration, trading, liquidation, settlement related to token offerings or "virtual currencies".

Please click here to read the full text (Chinese only) of the Circular.