China’s bank watchdog advocates for licencing framework for crypto activities

Crypto trading, ICOs and other crypto activities should be “put under relevant financial regulatory frameworks”, according to a research paper

China’s bank watchdog advocates for licencing framework for crypto activities

The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has published a working paper advocating that domestic regulators issue licences for cryptocurrency-related activities, industry website Coindesk has reported.

Published yesterday, the paper explores a variety of legal efforts made by different jurisdictions to govern activities related to digital currency derivative trading, as well as initial coin offerings (ICOs).

"Currently, any capital transaction that relates to distributed ledger accounts, blockchain, cryptocurrency and its derivatives, ICOs and exchange operations should all be regarded as financial services. Therefore they must be put under relevant financial regulatory frameworks so that they can operate legally with a license,” the paper’s authors Li Wenhong and Jiang Zeshen wrote, as quoted by Coindesk.

The paper also suggests that a potential regulatory framework should not be limited to crypto trading and ICOs. Instead, it should apply to any service that deals with transactions "related to distributed ledger accounts".

The paper indicates that the authors’ comments do not necessarily represent the views of the regulator itself. However, its creation is still notable, given China’s current stance on digital currency trading and ICOs.

In September the People's Bank of China (PBOC) along with six other regulators, including the CBRC, imposed bans on token sales and domestic fiat-to-crypto trading, saying that they were unlicensed financial activities. The crackdown caused the huge slump that preceded the rapid growth the crypto market saw in the final quarter of last year.

Since then the regulators have not indicated whether they are considering developing a licensing framework for crypto-related activities. Yesterday’s paper is the first indication that the regulators may be thinking in that direction.

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