Australia’s Securities Watchdog To Update ICO And Crypto Guidelines

ICO News, News, Regulation | April 30, 2018 By:

John Price, commissioner of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), said that the country’s corporate and consumer law might apply to initial coin offerings (ICO) offered from abroad.

During a FinTech event in Sydney last week, Price said that the agency would update ICO guidelines that were originally issued in September 2017. The updates will revolve around the questions the agency considers important to be explained to all potential investors, consumers or users.

“We will highlight that Australian corporate and consumer law might apply,  even if the ICO is created and offered from overseas,” Price said. “This is an important point, given the international nature of this sector. We will also highlight information on how Australian law prohibiting misleading or deceptive conduct will apply in this space. As I said before, I think you can expect a strong focus from us in this area.”

According to the current guidelines, the legal status of an ICO is dependent on the circumstances of the ICO, such as how it is structured and operated as well as the rights attached to the token. Regardless of the structure, however, there is one law that will always apply – issuers can’t make misleading or deceptive statements about the product.

“Australian law prohibits misleading or deceptive conduct in a range of circumstances, including in trade or commerce, in connection with financial services, and in relation to a financial product,” the ASIC said. “Care should be taken to ensure promotional communications about an ICO do not mislead or deceive potential investors, and do not contain false information.”

The ASIC commissioner said that it was in the crypto industry’s “interests to build a more mature sector that can sustain longer term public confidence,” adding that ASIC is currently collaborating with other domestic and international regulators to clarify a framework for cryptocurrencies “across taxation, anti-money laundering, payment systems and financial services.”