Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent Ranks Among China’s First 197 Regulated Blockchain Firms

Modern cash metaphore
Blockchain has made it possible for real estate to be traded as 'bitcoins' rather than go through a series of lengthy processes. (Photo: Zach Copley [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

China's central internet regulator, Cyberspace Administration, publicized the list of companies with approval to conduct business with blockchain tech. According to the report of the Global Times, There are 197 businesses included on the list which is planned to provide a controllable environment to explore blockchain technology.

The Cyberspace Administration published the official announcement on March 30. The announcement said that the registered companies are required to display their registration number in a "prominent position" on the service it provides. The list includes popular Chinese internet firms like Baidu Blockchain Engine (BBE), Alibaba Cloud Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS), and Tencent BaaS (TBaaS).

Other companies like the financial institutions China Zheshang Bank and Ping An Insurance appeared on the list of the Cyberspace Administration. The names of companies under the list can be viewed in the regulating body's website.

The list was created to regulate the initial coin offerings which have been uncontrolled in recent years. The companies need to be reviewed by the Chinese State Internet Information Office to be featured on the list. They need to meet the criteria laid out in the Regulations on the Management of Blockchain Information Services released on February 15, 2019.

China does not approve any form of ICO. The popularity of token-based digital currencies exploded in popularity 2017. It has raised more than $1.6 billion from initial coin offering during that year. Goldman Sachs said that token sales have surpassed traditional venture capital funding in the half of 2017.

The list will be used to track illegitimate businesses running unregistered offerings. Despite restrictions, blockchain firms continued to claim false registration.

Bulgarian scammers claimed earlier this year that they are registered with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The inauthenticity of the claim was proven after it was cross-referenced in the database of registered firms in the FCA. According to the FCA statement, the Bulgarian-based blockchain startup Next Coin Market gives false information that misleads investors from the United Kingdom by linking them to a false website that suggests that the company has been authorized fully by the FCA. The statement said that they believe the Next Coin Market is an illegal organization based in Bulgaria, claiming to be an FCA authorized firm offering cryptocurrencies to UK consumers. The regulator added that they have become aware they are sending consumers a link to a fake website, which gives the impression they are authorized by the FCA when they are not.

With China's new list, investors and those in the blockchain market should be able to cross-reference blockchain firms and check their authenticity.

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