Several news portals and financial / cryptocurrency news websites have been reporting on these 2 news subjects since the weekend. For example zdnet.com reported on “ASIC weighs in on initial coin offerings” and forbes.com reported on “Regulators Are Investigating Ethereum ICOs in Switzerland Where $600 Million Has Already Been Raised“. Here in this post we will be sharing links to the original posts made in the FINMA and ASIC websites.
(from FINMA website) The Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA has observed a marked increase in initial coin offerings (ICOs) conducted in Switzerland. It has today therefore issued FINMA Guidance 04/2017 on this topic. FINMA has also indicated that it is investigating a number of ICO cases to determine whether regulatory provisions have been breached.
(from ASIC website) This information sheet (INFO 225) gives guidance about the potential application of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) to businesses that are considering raising funds through an initial coin offering (ICO). This information sheet covers:
What Does This Mean?
These posts by FINMA and ASIC are a type of warning of sorts, but at the same time they are letting the public know that they are now investigating ICOs and may plan to regulate them in the future. They are not saying that ICOs are scams, but they are letting the public know that ICOs are not regulated and giving the public more information about this unregulated market. This means for now that not much has changed – but also it means that if an ICO operator or invetor from Switzerland or Australia is planning to launch an ICO or invest in an ICO they should know that they are now under the radar.
In the near future Switzerland and Australian investors may be blocked from buying ICO tokens. Also in the near future ICO operators that are operating from inside Switzerland or Australia may come under the scrutiny of financial regulators FINMA and ASIC and may even be charged with fraud if they try anything dirty.
How Will This Impact ICOs?
We can be almost certain that this will in fact greatly impact ICOs in the future but not really at this moment today. It means that people looking to invest in ICOs in Switzerland and Australia may be blocked from doing so in the near future and that ICO operators that are operating from inside Switzerland or Australia may come under the scrutiny of financial regulators FINMA and ASIC, this still does not mean that ICOs are regulated in these countries. Some are saying that regulating ICOs is a good thing while others are saying that it’s not good and that it will only hurt the booming cryptocurrency markets. We will just have to wait and see…