CoinEx, ViaBTC founder Haipo Yang released from prison

CoinEx, ViaBTC founder Haipo Yang released from prison

Haipo Yang, the founder of cryptocurrency exchanges CoinEx and ViaBTC, has finally revealed his whereabouts, after going missing for over two months.

Coinspice broke the news of Yang being released from a prison in China. The article’s author C. Edward Kelso posted a screenshot of a correspondence with Yang, in which he is asked, “Are you free” and he answers, “Yes.”

However, additional information on the reason for his arrest, detention, and release remain undisclosed. Rumors began circulating shortly after Yang disappeared from the public eye around October last year. A BitsOnline article by Jane Wang mentioned rumors of Yang’s arrest and his being held by Shenzhen police.

The rumor was connected by many to recent token offerings held by Yang’s companies, both based in China, where initial coin offerings (ICOs) have been banned since September 2017. Still, the Nantou police station in Shenzhen and Yang’s family members did not confirm anything.

Coinspice also noted that Yang’s Twitter account posted something for the first time since October, albeit unrelated to his disappearance. A previous tweet in which Yang remarked “Interesting” to an article alleging his arrest, has been deleted.

Prior to the November 15 Bitcoin Cash hard fork, Yang had expressed support for the protocol changes advocated by Bitcoin ABC. He is also associated with ViaBTC investor Bitmain, which has had to close operations around the world and let go of employees, amid a fall in cryptocurrency prices.

Back in September 2017, ViaBTC had closed its exchange, under pressure from Chinese regulators, following the lead of BTC China. However, it kept its mining pool and cloud mining services going.

Last September, the People’s Bank of China once more warned of investments in ICOs and cryptocurrencies, amid continued underground transactions in the country.

CoinEx issued its CET token last July, but calling the offering “trade-driven mining” rather than an ICO. The release of the 3.6 billion tokens resulted in the exchange becoming the largest exchange by trading volume for that period.

ViaBTC’s mining pool proceeded with its offering last October, raising $30 million in just two hours, where it introduced the VIAT token.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has announced the implementation of new regulations for Chinese blockchain firms beginning February 15. Among the new requirements are mandatory disclosure of the real identities of users. The CAC will also have greater control and access to information that goes through blockchain companies.

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