John Price, the ASIC Commissioner has officially moved on to the ICOs by stating that with the focus on the factuality and credibility of the product, the regulations will apply to those ICOs as well that are created or offered abroad.
ASIC commissioner John Price gets strict on ICOs
At the beginning of this month, Australia laid down the AML/CTF rules for the crypto exchanges where the regulators gave a six month period to the exchanges for registration or get penalized. Now, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has taken it up to revise its Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) rules in the coming weeks.
Recently, John Price, the ASIC Commissioner delivered a speech that threw light on this fact. He clarified that ASIC wants the regulatory technology (regtech) and innovative fintech to flourish in a well-regulated environment of Australia while keeping the protection of investors the center of focus:
“ASIC must be focused on both protecting Australian consumers and facilitating innovation across the financial services industry”.
Now regulators are moving onto ICOs on which the work has already been started as last year, ASIC published an Information Sheet (INFO 225) that provides guidance on ICOs. It briefly explains the legal status of ICOs which is dependent on ICO’s circumstances including the structure, operation and the right of the token.
Price further emphasized on:
”Regardless of the structure, however, there is one law that will always apply – you can’t make misleading or deceptive statements about the product. This is going to be a key focus for us going forward.”
Slamming the door on bypassing the regulations via overseas offering
Regulatory authorities are gradually making their stance clear on cryptocurrencies and ICOs all around the world. Japan, which was a crypto hot spot went on with crypto favorable rules initially, but after the Coincheck hack, the government clamped down on the cryptocurrency sector harshly.
Similarly, South Korea is imposing pretty strict regulations that have resulted in the exit of smaller exchanges from the market. ICO enthusiasts found another way to bypass the rules as the startups now conduct the ICOs abroad and then get them listed on the local exchanges.
However, Australia has already anticipated this move and have mentioned in their information sheet that all the ICOs will have to comply with regulations whether created and offered in Australia or abroad. Price mentioned in his speech document that:
“We will highlight that Australian corporate and consumer law might apply – even if the ICO is created and offered from overseas. This is an important point given the international nature of this sector.”
Looks like, after providing clarity on the crypto exchanges, now Australia has moved on to ICOs. But it is yet to be seen if the regulators of the country will be successful or will end up taking a stricter stance like Japan or a complete ban like China.
Do you think Australia’s ASIC will be able to successfully regulate the ICOs?