On July 26, 2017, six blockchain industry research institutions that include Guizhou Blockchain Industry Technology Innovation Alliance, Zhongguancun Blockchain Industry Alliance, Blockchain Finance Association, Guiyang Blockchain Innovation Research Institute, and two other unnamed entities partnered to release a protocol to manage and control financial risks associated with token offerings (TOs) in China. According to the announcement, the protocol known as the “Guiyang Blockchain ICO Consensus” is the first of its kind and seeks to protect investors while maintaining financial stability within the country.
The group also announced the launching of the first Chinese blockchain ICO sandbox plan which will enable companies to establish standards for sandboxing and/or sub-sandboxing programs to facilitate self-regulatory guidance. In addition, the sandbox seeks to establish a limited license in order to reduce innovation costs and policy risks of TO projects. Executive director of the Guiyang District Chain Innovation Institute Ye Qiang, explained that the plan will also include input from the Chinese government:
"Blockchain ICO sandbox plan will soon land, which will also be the first with a regulatory and self-disciplining nature, guided by the government, with private sector planning and implementation."
According to the Chinese Money Network, Guangdong, Shanghai, and Beijing are the three cities most active in TO investment ventures. Further, there are currently 43 platforms providing TO services which have included the participation of about 105,000 investors and brought in close to 2.6 billion renminbi ($420 million) in revenue for the companies.
Since its inception in 2013, the TO funding model has gained an enormous amount of popularity alongside cryptocurrencies. However, due to recent misfortunes like hacks, TOs have become subject to criticism from major players within the financial sector. The United States SEC also recently found that tokens are subject to securities law. Nevertheless, despite the risks involved, TOs have accrued enormous amounts of revenue, turned heads of billionaires, and gained enough attention for at least Chinese officials to consider them a legitimate investment vehicle.
Quote translated using Google Translate.