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PBoC now targets airdrops in its cryptocurrency crackdown efforts

Photo: Bloomberg

Mon, 05 Nov 2018, 07:44 am UTC

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is now targeting airdrops as part of its efforts to crack down on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the country, CoinDesk reported.

Last year, the central bank and other government authorities banned companies from raising funds through ICOs and token sales. With the ban in place, companies are now opting for “disguised” ICOs, the PBoC noted in its new report.

The PBoC has released its financial stability report for 2018 in which it has highlighted the growth in disguised ICOs including airdrops – the free distribution of cryptocurrency tokens or coins.

While some crypto firms are shifting their projects to other countries and using agents to invest on behalf of Chinese investors, some projects resorting to cryptocurrency airdrops – they are giving away free tokens while reserving a part of the total supply. The central bank noted that these firms then try to use speculation in the secondary market to boost the prices of these tokens to reap profits.

The PBoC said that it needs to continue to carry out research and monitoring in this area, strengthen investor protection and education, and promote global cooperation.

Earlier this year, the National Internet Finance Association of China (NIFA) had also issued a warning n disguised ICOs. In August, it added a new category – Token sales – to its platform where the public can report potentially illegal financial activities.

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