Taobao, which is often referred to as the eBay of China has updated its policy and banned ICOs, cryptocurrecies and other digital currency-related activities. Taobao is a subsidiary, a Chinese eCommerce Giant, which was established in 2003 and allows people and small business to list their items for sale.
The official statement from the company offers an update of its initial restrictions of cryptocurrencies, which banned customers of Taobao from dealing in virtual currencies like bitcoin plus offering Bitcoin mining machines, cryptocurrency mining tutorials and any related hardware. In addition to these restrictions, the company has now banned any service or product which uses Blockchain. In the new rule, services like White Paper Writing Services, smart contract deployment services, ICO Consultancy and crypto related technical services have been banned. The new rules are effective starting April 17th.
The new regulatory framework has introduced two major changes. First, they expand the concept of digital currencies to include ICOs as well as related digital products. Additionally, the new rules have introduced increased control of derivative services of products that use Blockchain technology.
The company, in introducing the new regulations cited the recent ban that was imposed by the People’s Bank of China. In September 2017, the People’s Bank of China introduced a ban on all ICOs. This was followed by a ban on Cryptocurrencies itself early this year.
Violators Shall Be Punished
In the statement, the company said that stores that violate the new regulations risk a considerable punishment. Surprisingly, after the indefinite ban imposed by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), a number of sellers remained active on Taobao and sold services that are related to ICOs. Some sellers even went ahead and drew up ‘white papers’ with forged information so as facilitate ICO projects.
Online Vendors Find A Way Around Ban
Many online vendors slightly bent the initials from ‘ICO’ to ‘I.CO’ to avoid being caught. Following the introduction of the new rules, Taobao becomes the latest online platform to ban ICOs and blockchain related projects.
In March, several big names in the digital and social media industry like Twitter, Facebook and Google banned advertisements and promotions related to cryptocurrency. With these latest developments, it’s clear that the digital industry will take some time before it completely accepts cryptocurrencies.
Although China has been very hostile towards digital currencies, many traders are optimistic that this stance will change in the near future. The new head of PBoC Yi Gang has infact indicated that bitcoin is a currency which offers freedom and emphasized that the new digital currency is very transparent.