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Australia’s Securities Regulator, Updates ICO and Crypto Guidelines

Speaking at the Sydney Fintech Event on Thursday, Australian Securities and Investment Commissioner (ASIC), John Price, highlighted the updated guidelines for digital currencies and Initial Coin Offerings.

In his speech, the Commissioner said  “the financial regulator and watchdog is determined to see the Australian’s fintech industry and Regtech flourish in the right regulatory environment’’.

Notably, the Commissioner said:

“The development of innovative technologies like blockchain and ICOs has the potential to revolutionize how our society engages with financial products and services, but with revolution comes risk… Scams are corrosive when it comes to building any form of trust, and we all have a role to play in making sure they don’t happen.”

John Price in his speech insisted that the new updated guidelines apply to Cryptocurrencies and ICOs both operating locally or operated from Overseas. He added, although maintaining that the  “ASIC must be focused on both protecting Australian consumers and facilitating innovation across the financial services industry.”

In September 2017, ASIC released an information sheet to give guidance about the potential application of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) to Enterprises that are considering raising funds through an ICO.

According to the information sheet. ICOs can be regarded as “managed investment schemes,” shares or derivatives offerings, or “non-cash payment facilities,” ASIC commissioner also emphasized  that “Stamping out deceptive practices, in particular, is “going to be a key focus for us going forward,”

There is no Global consensus on how to regulate  ICOs and cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, a Worldwide regulatory crackdown seems to have been gaining momentum. Across EU, Asia and the US, Cryptocurrency and ICOs regulation remains in the pipeline. Certain States have taken the lead by enacting strict rules on ICOs and Cryptocurrency to counter money laundering and terrorism funding.

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