Initial coin offerings involve selling a number of crytographic tokens to investors at the launch of a project

The latest cryptocurrency boom is beginning to stall as regulators worldwide turn their attention to the “initial coin offerings”, which have driven a precipitous rise in the sector’s market value reaching a high of $177bn (£136bn).

The total value of the hundreds of tracked cryptocurrencies has fallen by more than 18% to $145bn since Friday’s high, according to analytics site CoinMarketCap. The collapse seems to have been triggered by a ruling from the Chinese central bank that declared it illegal to raise money through launching new cryptocurrencies.

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