China Halts 60 ICOs As Companies Cancel Sales Awaiting Legislation

ICOs are delaying or cancelling sales in China as regulators warn of impending legislative moves to formalize – or ban – the market.

Documents seen by Cointelegraph show up to 60 planned token distributions will now remain on the drawing board, as operators await regulatory responses.

According to local news outlet Caixin, several government commissions have “studied” ICOs over the previous month, the most recent of which has heightened rhetoric, suggesting a full ban was “not impossible.”

“90 percent of ICO projects are suspected of illegal fund-raising and intentional fraud,” a source told the publication.

The prospect of a heavy-handed response from Chinese authorities has appeared to make markets nervous. Bitcoin’s price has fallen around $600 since Saturday, and the majority of altcoin markets have repeated the trend.

Major player

China has accounted for a major percentage of total ICO revenue since the phenomenon began in earnest this year, with around 40 percent of the $1 bln funding stemming from Chinese startups and other projects.

Last week, the US Securities and Exchanges Commission added further cautionary warnings to its perspective on token sales, having itself banned several for not adhering to relevant securities legislation.

At the same time, a delegation of Chinese regulators visited US Blockchain businesses including Coinbase and Ripple as part of a study of international regulatory practices.