China Threatens Crypto Fundraisers with Jailtime

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  • The Chinese Supreme People’s Court has amended a ruling to allow crypto fundraisers to be imprisoned
  • The harsh punishment comes as China increasingly paves the way for adoption of its digital yuan
  • The new ruling will come into effect on March 1

China has threatened individuals who raise money through cryptocurrencies with jailtime as it increases its grip on the sector. A newly revised law by the Chinese Supreme Court states that anyone found raising funds above a certain threshold in the form of digital assets faces harsh punishment as the country continues to clamp down on third-party cryptocurrencies as it continues to roll out its digital yuan. The move continues the crackdown that has been steadily taking place in recent years but which exploded last year.

Criminal Law Amendment Outlaws Crypto Fundraising

The updated rules for crypto fundraisers came via the Chinese Supreme People’s Court this week when it announced amending the interpretation of the nation’s Criminal Law to make public fundraising through “virtual currency” illegal. According to the official court document, the new law will come into effect on March 1.

The new law states that if the amount of cryptocurrency fundraising exceeds 100,000 yuan ($16,000) it will be deemed a “large amount”, but if the amount is over 500,000 yuan ($79,000) it will be flagged as “other serious circumstances” as stipulated in Article 192 of the Criminal Law.

Amendments were also made regarding conviction and punishment for crimes associated with illegal fundraising, with crime, online lending, virtual currency transactions, financial leasing, and more added to the newly revised document as related activities.

China Clearing the Path for its CBDC

Chinese media suggests that the main idea behind the revision of the law is to offer clarity to the application of relevant laws, better implement related criminal policies, punish illegal fundraising, and preserve national financial security and stability.

China has famously been cracking down on all types of cryptocurrency activity, most notably last year when it formally banned cryptocurrency mining and usage in the country in order to support the rollout of its digital yuan CBDC.