China‘s Cyberspace Administration – the country’s central internet regulator – has released the first list of companies approved to conduct business with blockchain tech.
There are 197 businesses included on the list which, according to analysts, is meant to “provide a controllable environment to explore blockchain technology,” the Global Times reports.
Registered companies are required to display their registration number in a “prominent position” on the service it provides, according to the official announcement published March on 30.
Featuring on the list are well-known Chinese internet firms like Baidu Blockchain Engine (BBE), Alibaba Cloud Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS), and Tencent BaaS (TBaaS).
Financial institutions such as China Zheshang Bank and Ping An Insurance also appear on the list of regulated firms. The full list of registered companies can be viewed on the Cyberspace Administration’s site here (all information is in Chinese).
The registry was created in response to the wave of unregulated initial coin offerings (ICO) in recent years. To be featured on the list, companies must be reviewed by the Chinese State Internet Information Office and meet the criteria laid out in the “Regulations on the Management of Blockchain Information Services” implemented on February 15, 2019.
It’s also illegal to conduct any form of ICO in China; in this sense, the list serves to highlight illegitimate businesses running unregistered offerings. That said, there’s nothing stopping blockchain firms from claiming false registration.
Earlier this year, Bulgarian scammers claimed to be registered with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Cross-referencing the FCA‘s database of registered firms showed this to be false.
With this new list, investors – or those in the market for an off-the-shelf blockchain service – should be able to do the same, and check the firm in question is as regulated as it says it is.