Crypto-currency's hottest trend is under threat

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Initial coin offerings (ICOs) – the hottest trend in crypto-currency – are facing increased threats from hackers.

An ICO is an unregulated means of crowdfunding via use of crypto-currency. Ethereum is, as of 2017, the leading blockchain platform for ICOs, with more than 50% market share. However, the Ethereum network ICOs have resulted in much phishing, Ponzi schemes, and other scams, accounting for about 10% of ICOs. Yesterday, Chinese regulators officially outlawed all ICOs, demanding that the proceeds from all past ICOs be refunded to investors or face being "severely punished according to the law". This action by Chinese regulators resulted in large sell-offs for most crypto-currencies.

Although ICOs are not banned in the US, the country's Securities and Exchange Commission on 25 July ruled that ICOs should be treated as investment securities and subject to the relevant regulations. Following the announcement, some ICO promoters responded to the ruling by either tightening access to ICOs, or by making them unavailable to US investors.

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