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China Proposes Jail Terms for Individuals Raising Funds Through ICO/IDO

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The Supreme Court of the People’s Republic of China has adopted a more stringent means of punishing criminals that faults its laws as regards raising funds from the public for virtual currency projects. This was captured on the website of China’s Supreme Court, with the move granting the judiciary more powers in the country.

Late in 2021, China had announced and declared all trading in cryptocurrency a grievous offense. Adding that even players that engage with crypto exchange companies in the diaspora are not exempted from the offense. At that time, no laws or proceedings were put in place to address or punish offenders of these defined offenses.

It is a different case now as not only the laws have been enacted, stricter measures have also been adopted by the Supreme court to prosecute criminals found guilty of either trading in Bitcoin (BTC), being an active player in digital currency exchange, or using crypto to solicit for public funding.

The People’s Republic Supreme court passed the measures by amending its criminal law, noting that any attempt at raising public funds through Bitcoin will spare no one the sanctions. Sentences will be issued, and specifically, jail terms will be used as a means of punishing criminals. This new development will be adopted from the 1st March 2022.

The provisions of the amended law stipulate that any public funds raised that is more than 100,000 yuan is deemed as a “large amount”, and any funds raised that is more than 500,000 yuan will be tagged “other serious circumstances.”

The jail sentences spelled out for criminals found guilty of these offenses are such that anyone that commits the crime of illegally absorbing public deposits shall be “sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years or criminal detention,” or, “shall be fined not less than 50,000 yuan but not more than 1 million yuan; sentenced to three years.” 

Also, “whoever commits the crime of fund-raising fraud shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years, but not more than seven years, and shall also be fined not less than 100,000 yuan but not more than 5 million yuan.” 

After China banned crypto in 2017, the price of Bitcoin plummeted, but it gave the United States the opportunity to take advantage of the situation by growing its capacity as the dominant hub for Bitcoin mining in the world.

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