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商业 - 科技

中国禁止ICO的七大原因

Robert Hackett 2017年09月07日

《财富》杂志对中国的ICO禁令进行了解读,本文揭示中国发布禁令可能的七大原因。

上周末,中国采取了严厉措施。监管者将首次代币发行这种初创公司利用加密货币通过区块链进行募资的新途径定性为非法。

包括中国人民银行、工业和信息化部和中国银行业监督管理委员会在内的七家金融监管机构联合发布政令,并在其中公布了原因。他们称经过考虑,认为加密货币销售是“一种未经批准非法公开融资的行为,涉嫌非法发售代币票券、非法发行证券以及非法集资、金融诈骗、传销等违法犯罪活动。”

换句话说:谁都别想和ICO扯上关系。

我们研读了监管方的公告,利用我们的相关经验为这一新闻进行了一些解读。以下是中国发布禁令可能的七大理由。

1. ICO已经失去控制

ICO的狂热已经失去了控制。今年上半年,ICO为基于区块链的项目募集了超过10亿美元资金——而其中许多不过是一张白纸加上一些宣称新型网络货币将颠覆各大行业的推销词藻。从职业拳击手弗洛伊德·梅威瑟到酒店的女继承人帕里斯·希尔顿等名流都为它们背书。如果没有制衡,该领域将继续在没有监管的情况下发展。因此,中国决定在它变得更加疯狂之前压制这种募资机制。

2. 许多ICO都是骗局

你不需要对金融有多深了解,就能知道许多ICO的模式就像传统的炒高抛售骗局或传销计划。让人们为那些不太了解的资产或机遇投资;希望这些几乎毫无价值的垃圾涨价;再从中套取现金。这里有太多只是想赚些快钱的推销者了。

3. 这种狂热会给散户带来危险

加密货币的泡沫破裂,谁会受伤?是那些普通投资者。禁止ICO,中国或许就能让消费者避免更大的财务困境。这也是证券法诞生的原因。

4. 加密货币容易滋生骗局

4. 中国是骗术等事件滋生的温床

中国处于加密货币狂潮的风口浪尖。中国互联网金融协会的数据显示,今年上半年,在中国进行的ICO共有65次,超过10万名投资者参与,募集资金总计达4亿美元。一旦加密货币的泡沫破裂,中国就会陷入极其危险的境地。

5. 中国想要自己的加密货币

有传闻称中国正试图开发自己国家的加密货币。如果能够成功,比起现有的选择(比特币、以太坊等),中国会对加密货币平台有更大的控制权。监管者可能正在为新货币的最终诞生扫清路上的障碍。

6. ICO会威胁现有企业

中国更青睐国内的商场赢家。一般来说,国外的风投公司会由于缺少国家支持而遭遇失败。在中国看来,ICO可以绕开监管障碍,提供获取风投资金的新途径,建立未来有一天可能与现有企业竞争的项目或协议并提供不受审查的替代选择,简直生来就是为了威胁或规避传统的强大公司。缺乏国家的管制,会让政府对全部ICO都保持警惕。

7. 中国需要冷却期

中国将所有的ICO都定义为不合法,而不是将未登记证券的加密货币与使用特定分散化应用、更像代币的加密货币区分开来,可谓是手段严厉。在美国,证券交易委员会倾向于区分这两类ICO。中国可能只是试图利用严格而或许只是暂时的禁令,让这种加密货币的狂热情绪冷却下来。我们不知道这种禁令是否会永久有效,又是否是当下的狂热才催生了它的出台。

合广投资公司的投资者弗雷德·威尔逊看好加密货币,他认为中国还会出台进一步的措施。他表示“许多人推测中国的禁令只是暂时的,是为了给当局留出时间思考更合理的管制措施。我也是如此认为。”(财富中文网)

译者:严匡正

China enacted a draconian measure this weekend. Its regulators outlawed initial coin offerings or ICOs, a new way of financing startups based on blockchains, the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies. (For more on blockchain tech, read this recent Fortune magazine cover story.)

In a joint decree from seven financial regulators—including the People's Bank of China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the China Banking Regulatory Commission—state officials laid out their reasoning. The group said they consider crypto token sales to be "an unauthorized and illegal public financing activity, which involves financial crimes such as the illegal distribution of financial tokens, the illegal issuance of securities and illegal fundraising, financial fraud and pyramid scheme."

In other words: don't even think about getting involved with an ICO.

We dug into the regulators' text and applied our own expertise to provide some context for the news. Below are seven reasons why China likely instituted the ban.

1. ICOs are out of control

The ICO craze has gotten out of hand. In the first half of the year, ICOs raised more than $1 billion for blockchain-based projects—many of which consist of little more than a white paper and some marketing spiel about disrupting various industries with new kind of Internet money. Celebrities ranging from pro boxer Floyd Mayweather to hotel heiress Paris Hilton have been endorsing the stuff. Without a counterbalance, the sector would continue to grow unchecked; China decided to put the kibosh on the funding mechanism before the space could get any more bonkers.

2. Many ICOs are scams

It doesn't take a financial whiz to understand that many ICOs operate like classic pump and dump scams or pyramid schemes. Get people to throw money behind an asset or opportunity they don't understand all that well; hope the price of the mostly worthless junk inflates; cash out. There are too many hucksters out there simply looking to make a quick buck.

3. The mania poses a danger to retail investors.

When the crypto bubble bursts who is going to get hurt? Joe investor, that's who. By clamping down on the ICO sector, China may be warding off bigger financial troubles for consumers down the line. There are securities laws for a reason.

China is an epicenter for cryptocurrency mania. In the first half of the year, China-based ICOs raised about $400 million through 65 offerings with more than 100,000 investors, according to a report from the National Internet Finance Association of China. That puts the country in a particularly precarious position if and when the crypto boom comes crashing down.

5. China wants its own coin

We've heard rumors that China is looking to mint its own national cryptocurrency. If the country succeeds it will have greater control over that platform than the present options (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.). Regulators may be clearing the way for this this eventual debut.

6. ICOs threaten incumbents

China likes to pick its business winners. In general, ventures originating outside the country tend to fail for lack of state support. In their very conception, ICOs are designed to threaten or circumvent traditional power players—to get around regulatory obstacles, to provide a new way to access venture capital, to build projects or protocols that might one day compete with incumbent businesses and provide censorship-resistant alternatives. A lack of state control means that government views the whole lot of ICOs warily.

7. China wants a cool-off period

By considering all ICOs illegal rather than differentiating ones that trade in unregistered securities from ones that act more like tokens to use certain decentralized apps, China is taking a heavy-handed approach. (In the United States, the SEC appears to be gearing up for a distinction between the two types.) China may simply be trying to cool off the crypto mania with a strict, if temporary, edict. There's no knowing whether this ban is forever, or whether it has been prompted by the present craze.

Fred Wilson, an investor at Union Square Ventures who is bullish on cryptocurrencies, penned a take on the move. He observed that "many have speculated that this Chinese ban is temporary to give the Chinese authorities time to come up with sensible regulations. I suspect that is right."

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