This week got off to a rough start when Chinese regulators outlawed all cryptocurrency ICO activity in the country. Although most cryptocurrency and ICO markets have started to recover from that setback, the official investigation is only just beginning. One particular document has surfaced online which allegedly names 60 ICO companies and platforms currently under investigation. Most of these names are unknown to most cryptocurrency users, with the exception of the Binance exchange.
Binance may be Investigated by the Chinese Government
The cryptocurrency ICO situation has been getting a bit out of hand for a while now. Dozens of projects are launched every single week, all in the hopes of raising millions in funding for a new business venture. This trend was also noticeable in China, where most companies conducting ICOs only target Chinese investors. This eventually caught the attention of the People’s Bank of China and other regulators, leading to an official ban on all cryptocurrency ICO activity in China. Though this decision was not entirely surprising, it still sent shockwaves throughout the cryptocurrency community.
Local news sources claim there is an official list of around 60 companies currently under official investigation, all of which are involved in organizing or facilitating ICO token sales within China. The “leaked list” – which has not been officially confirmed as official – includes 60 companies of which most people have likely never heard. Dahonghuo, ICOAGE, Big Bitcoin, and Coin Fundraiser are just some of the names on the list. For anyone outside of China, they will probably not ring a bell.
There is one company most readers will have heard of, though. Binance is listed as the 14th company on the list, and seems to refer to the Binance exchange which has been making a name for itself lately. This exchange has gained a lot of popularity in the Western world due to its trading of many ICO tokens not issued in China. However, the site also created its own native currency, known as Binance Coin or BNB. This currency is traded against both Bitcoin and Ethereum on Binance and is listed on EtherDelta.
The Binance company completed its fundraising round not long ago, and many venture capitalists backed the company and its Binance Coin token. Whether or not this means the company will only get a slap on the wrist for its ICO-related fundraising efforts remains to be seen. The tokens are ERC20 tokens residing on the Ethereum blockchain, after all.
Only 10% of these tokens were issued to investors, with 40% remaining under control of the founding team. The ICO itself was hosted on the Binance website, as well as on RenRenICO and BTC9. Neither of the latter two companies are on the unofficial list of ICO platforms being investigated in China, though. This makes one wonder why Binance itelf is under investigation, assuming there is any truth to this list in the first place. It is also the only well-known name on the list, which does not necessarily make it more or less legitimate than one would expect.
For the time being, there are more questions than answers regarding China’s ICO investigation. There is no reason to think Binance is in some sort of trouble right now, as we do not know the full extent of the investigation or the company’s role in all of this. The company is still conducting business as usual as we speak and there is no reason to think this will change soon. We will keep an eye on further developments regarding this investigation.