Below are some of the stated positions of several different regulators around the world regarding ICOs. In chronological order:
- Brazil’s equivalent of the SEC, the Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM), published (July 13th) initial legislation instruction (Instrução CVM No. 588) regulating crowdfunding via ICOs: (Portuguese announcement)
- The United States SEC published on July 25th on ICOs: (Report on investigation) (Investor bulletin) (Investor alert)
- Monetary Authority of Singapore published its views on August 1st on ICOs: (Clarification statement) (Consumer advisory)
- Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), including the Ontario Securities Commission, published its views on August 24th on ICOs: (Staff Notice) (Announcement)
- Israel Securities Authority announced on August 30th that it is forming a committee to look at ICOs: (Hebrew announcement) (English)
- The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) in South Korea announced on September 3rd that it held a joint task force meeting to strengthen regulations around digital currency trading, including fundraising with ICOs: (BusinessKorea)
- Central Bank of Russia issued a public statement on September 4th that included its views on ICOs: (Russian announcement) (English)
- The People’s Bank of China, along with 6 other Chinese government bodies including the national securities regulator (CSRC), publicly banned ICO fundraising in China on September 4th: (CN announcement) (English) (Bloomberg) (Reuters)
- SFC in Hong Kong announced its views on ICOs on September 5th: (Announcement)
- The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that it was keeping a close eye on ICOs on September 6th: (FT)
- Consumer warning about the risks of Initial Coin Offerings (‘ICOs’) published on September 12th
- The Securities Commission (SC) of Malaysia issued a press release cautioning investors in ICOs on September 7th: (DNA)
- The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) warned investors that ICOs were risky on September 13th: (Statement)
- The Securities and Exchange Commission in Thailand issued some statements regarding ICOs on September 14th: (Comments)
- Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) issued an official statement regarding ICOs on September 22nd: (Statement)
- North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) issued its annual paper and warned of risks around cryptocurrencies and ICOs on September 26th: (Press release)
- Macau Monetary Authority (MMA) announced that banks cannot engage with ICOs and cryptocurrencies either “directly or indirectly” on September 27th: (Statement)
- The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) released formal guidance and comments about ICOs on September 28th: (Information Sheet)
- The Financial Services Commission in South Korea said all kinds of initial coin offerings (ICO) will be banned as trading of virtual currencies needs to be tightly controlled and monitored on September 29th: (Reuters) (Yonhap)
- The Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in Switzerland announced it is investigating ICO procedures and issued formal guidance on September 29th: (Press Release)
- SEC Exposes Two Initial Coin Offerings Purportedly Backed by Real Estate and Diamonds on September 29th: (Press release)
- Abu Dhabi’s Global Market’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) released guidelines on ICOs on October 9th: (Guidelines)
- The Central Bank of Lithuania announced its position and guidelines regarding ICOs on October 11th: (Press release)
- The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), through its internal division, LabCFTC, released a primer on cryptocurrencies including ICOs on October 17th: (Press release)
- The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) released commentaries on cryptocurrencies and ICOs on October 25th: (Press release) (Commentary)
- Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) issued a short statement warning users and business operators about the risks of ICOs on October 27th: (Statement)
- The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued two public statements on ICOs: one on risks and the other on rules applicable to firms involved in ICOs on November 13, 2017: (Press Release)
What do they all say? A friend who is an attorney said it concisely: when you sell securities, you have to comply with securities laws.
If you plan to do an ICO or some kind of token sale, be sure to speak with more than one lawyer or law firm to get a legal opinion about what it is you are actually selling (or not).
And if you’re interested, below is an interview of Nick Morgan. He is an attorney who previously was part of the SEC’s enforcement team. He discusses The DAO, securities regulations, and the current ICO frenzy.
- ECB’s Draghi rejects Estonia’s virtual currency idea – Reuters
- Initial Coin Offerings: Know Before You Invest – FINRA
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Really interesting post. So many nations have been taking action against ICOs lately. Is it really necessary? Yes, there are some bad eggs but they are punishing everyone.
UPDATE: CVM, the Brazilian equivalent to the SEC, has published a new official statement on October 11th, 2017, regarding ICOs, cryptocurrencies and virtual exchanges.
I wrote an short article about this here: https://goo.gl/kwxLP7
And a full analysis in Portuguese here: https://goo.gl/9L3xMj