Innovation Or Ponzi Scheme? China’s Red Hot Initial Coin Offerings Could Burn Investors

When the market reaches into the pockets of average savers, it means real danger, warned one anonymous investor about the booming initial coin offering (ICO) sector in China. The fact is: That is exactly what is happening.

ICOs, a form of crowdfunding similar to IPOs where sophisticated tech companies or projects raise capital by issuing cryptocurrency, are all the rage in China. But most of the 100,000+ Chinese buyers of these arcane financial products are unsophisticated mom-and-pop investors and retired workers purchasing "tokens" with their pension money, lured by the promise of spectacular returns.

As with other technologies copied to China, the Chinese are proving to be ingenious in localizing, amplifying and twisting ICOs into something quite different from their original design. Instead of financing blockchain technology innovations,...

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