What happened: China’s central bank has made clear its position on security coin offerings (STOs), classing them as an “illegal financial activity.” Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), clarified the institution’s stance at a forum in Beijing on Saturday (Dec. 8). He said that virtual forms of money had become an accomplice to “all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.”
Why it’s important: Pan’s comments come a week after the head of the Beijing Financial Supervision Authority warned businesses in the city against engaging in STOs, also calling them illegal activities. The country has been tightening its controls over cryptocurrencies over the past year. Following a ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs), authorities have shut down blockchain-related social media groups, banned events in a number of cities around the country, and shut down or limited access to cryptocurrency exchanges.