Examining Australia’s Updated Regulations for ICOs and Crypto Trading

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) on May 30, 2019 published an updated guideline for initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency trading. These new guidelines are aimed at helping cryptocurrency-related businesses understand their compliance requirements vis-à-vis existing laws contained in the Australian Corporations and ASIC Acts. The ASIC’s revampled ICO and cryptocurrency trading framework does not, however, cover guidelines for other regulators like the country’s tax agency and consumer protection group. The securities regulator say crypto businesses will have to refer to the published laws by those respective bodies. By updating its ICO…

Crypto Mogul Moshe Hogeg’s ICOs Have Unusual Patterns, Analysis Finds

Best-known internationally as the chief executive of the blockchain smartphone startup Sirin Labs, Moshe Hogeg is becoming known for something else in Israel – mounting lawsuits. As reported extensively by regional news outlets, a lawsuit filed in January claims Hogeg misappropriated funds from the sale of new cryptocurrencies for both his own gain and to benefit his investment portfolio, including Sirin Labs. The judge has reportedly given Hogeg until March 15 to settle with the plaintiff, Chinese investor Zhewen Hu. This follows an earlier case involving Hogeg’s company Invest.com that…

Security Token Offerings ‘are Not Fundamentally Different From ICOs’

Security token offerings (STO) are becoming more popular, relative to initial coin offerings (ICO), according to a new report by Big Four firm PwC’s global consulting subsidiary Strategy&. Released on March 8, the firm’s forth ICO and STO report was developed in collaboration with the Swiss Crypto Valley Association. According to the joint report, STOs “are not fundamentally different from ICOs.” The document states that STOs are “a more mature and regulated form” of fundraising, noting — given the definition of a security — that the tokens sold in an…

The SEC’s Guidelines and Statements Show That It’s Slowly Learning to Accept ICOs

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) may be less fashionable than security token offerings (STOs) right now, but that hasn’t stopped the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from keeping its beady eye trained firmly on them. Ever since it published its investigation into the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in July 2017 and declared that ICO tokens can be (and often are) securities, it has been producing a variety of guidelines and warnings on ICOs for investors. Initially, its notices were used to emphasize the potentially fraudulent or dangerous nature of initial…

Central Bank of Lithuania Issues Updated Position on Virtual Assets and ICOs

The Bank of Lithuania has updated its position on virtual assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs), according to an announcement published on Feb. 14. The Bank of Lithuania initially issued a document detailing its position towards ICOs and digital currency in October, 2017, defining how and when virtual assets may be used for payment. The document also specified how and on what terms financial market participants (FMP) may establish investment funds for investment in virtual assets. The recent document reveals that the bank has not made changes to its underlying…

FBI Outline Key Features of Scam ICOs, Warns Investors to Be Vigilant

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has outlined what it believes to be the consistent threads running through fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) schemes. The Bureau’s perspective was shared in an interview with Netherlands-based financial news site the Paypers on Feb. 19. According to the FBI, the key strategies of scam offerings include misrepresentations of their directors’ professional experience, an engineered false impression of how much traction the ICO has garnered in the industry, and unrealistic promises of prospective returns on tokens: “Like any investment product, rates of…

41% of Institutional Investors to Invest in ICOs Within Five Years

According to a survey of institutional investors conducted by the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), 19 percent believe that digital assets will be regularly invested in and traded by 2021. The results of the survey were shared with Cointelegraph on Feb. 14. The survey was conducted in December 2018 and January 2019 by market research company PollRight, and included responses from 71 global institutional investors, including private equity, hedge funds and pension funds. According to the survey, the growth of the digital asset industry can increase the initial coin offering…

Number of ICOs in Q4 2018 Increased, But Raised 25% Less Than in Q3

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) in Q4 2018 raised 25 percent less than in Q3, while the total amount of completed ICOs increased, according to a report by ICO rating service ICObench shared with Cointelegraph on Feb. 6. The number of ICOs completed in Q4 increased to 594 from 554 in Q3, the report says. With that, the number of ICO projects that did not raise funds has also increased in Q4, while the number of successfully completed ICO projects remained equal. According to the report, the total funds raised by…

ICOs Raised $160 Million in First Half of January, Report Says

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) completed in the first half of January have raised around $160 million. The figure was provided in a report by ICO rating service ICObench shared with Cointelegraph on Jan. 18. ICOs completed by Jan. 15 have managed to raise about 33 percent of the combined amount raised in the previous month of December. Half of that sum was secured by just one project, the report notes. According to ICObench, the number of fundraisers that are set to take place in January is more than 150, a…

The Biggest Problem for ICOs? In 2018, It Was Their Own Investors

Simon Seojoon Kim is CEO and partner at Hashed, a crypto-focused accelerator focused on community building and impact investing. The following is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2018 Year in Review.  At the beginning of 2018, the blockchain community reached the pinnacle of the ICO bubble. The slogan of ICOs, which promised that “anyone can invest in an initial project,” sounded wonderful and future-oriented. However, as the prices of most ICO tokens continued to tumble over the past year, it appears that the first chapter of this grand experiment has ended in failure.…