No, Not All ICOs Are Securities

Paul Paray is an attorney in Allendale, New Jersey, focused on privacy and technology matters. In his Feb. 8 opinion piece for CoinDesk, Santander’s Julio Faura suggests that “utility tokens are a bad idea” because it would be a “lie to ourselves” to suggest initial coin offerings (ICOs) were not actually selling securities. Rather, in Faura’s opinion “we should collectively work on a framework to build a clearly defined scheme for ICOs, recognizing from the very beginning that they are securities.” And, this “ICO process should be designed in collaboration…

Swiss Finance Regulator to Treat Some ICO Tokens As Securities

Switzerland’s finance regulator has published new guidelines that indicate it will treat some tokens sold during initial coin offerings as securities. In a press release published today, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) said there has been a sharp rise in the number of ICOs launching in Switzerland, resulting spike in inquiries about the regulations that apply to them. With the situation currently “partly unclear,” the new guidelines have been released to clarify the status of projects wishing to launch a token sale project within the country. “Creating transparency at…

Real Estate ICOs Are Moving In, But Investors Aren’t Floored

A house on a blockchain? That’s the future a number of initial coin offering (ICO) issuers envision, one in which tokenized pieces of the property could be tracked and traded via a shared database. In this way, the tokens would allow for what entrepreneurs are calling “fractional ownership,” or the ability for a real estate owner to split up their home and sell off equity stakes. Not only would this allow a homeowner to sell some of the home’s equity should they need extra money, but it would also allow…

‘Fans’ Build Controversial ICO Around Chinese Pop Band

Self-proclaimed fans of a popular Chinese boy band have built an initial coin offering (ICO) around their idols, amid controversy over the project’s legitimacy. At the heart of the project is a well-known home-grown pop band named The Fighting Boys (or TFBoys), formed by three teens – Karry Wang, Roy Wang, and Jackson Yi – in 2013. Notably, last year, Roy Wang was featured by Time as one of the 30 most influential teens of 2017. Amid the band’s overwhelming popularity in China, an unnamed group of fans have just…

Petition Calls for SEC to Allow for ICO Remediation

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should give past initial coin offering (ICO) organizers the chance to seek remediation in light of possible violations, according to a petition filed with the agency last month. The petition was penned by Liquid M Capital, a broker-dealer and fintech firm acquired by Templum earlier this month. Dated January 23 and received by the agency three days later, it was signed by Liquid M CEO Vincent Molinari and Templum CEO Christopher Pallotta. At its heart, the petition recommends that the commission “provide an opportunity for…

Into the Dark Pool: $30 Million ICO Could Pave Way for Huge Crypto Trades

The term dark pool might sound ominous, but investors think building one could prove to be a boon for the crypto market. Announced today, Republic Protocol has officially completed an initial coin offering (ICO) for its REN token, raising 35,000 ether (roughly $30.5 million at current prices) from lead investors Polychain Capital and FBG, as well as funds like Huobi, Hyperchain Capital and Signal Ventures. Along with retail investors, the participants above are betting big on a way to execute large trades without spooking the market. At least, that’s the argument…

Gibraltar’s Government Is Moving to Regulate ICOs

Officials in Gibraltar are reportedly weighing rules for initial coin offerings (ICOs), a move that follows a bid to develop a licensure framework for companies working with the tech. The discussions will include input from members of the British overseas territory’s legislature as well as the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC). Like many other countries entertaining ICO regulation, the government there has framed the move as one aimed at protecting investors and consumers. “One of the key aspects of the token regulations is that we will be introducing the concept of…

7 Trends Shaping the Evolving ICO Economy

Sure, there were white papers, prototypes and theories, but in the land of ICOs, 2017 was largely about one thing – money – and lots of it. Entering 2018, those closest to the sector, the area of the industry that’s actively applying learnings from cryptocurrencies to startup models, see a bit of a different story. White papers, prototypes and conferences, they believe, will persist. But changes, too, are on the way. Namely, insiders see a wave of testnets, betas and iterations as the signal and noise begin to separate, and…

Why Crypto Needs to Start Talking Seriously About SpankChain

On New Year’s Day, Giselle Palmer, scantily clad, turned on her webcam, and started her sexy show. Offhandedly she told her hundreds of viewers that she had studied computer science and math in college, and from that moment on the chat room was filled with questions about non-sexy topics from computer science to calculus. If that seems strange for a group watching a camgirl seductively striptease — it normally would be, but Palmer was posing in front of a group of crypto enthusiasts. “I don’t think Giselle was prepared for…

How to Help ICOs Go Legit

Julio Faura is the head of blockchain research and development at Santander. Much is being written these days about the need to regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs) and – to the extent possible – access to cryptocurrencies. With close to $350 billion in (theoretical) market value, cryptocurrencies have started to hit the mainstream, and it is becoming urgent to find a suitable, enforceable regulatory framework that protects investors and helps companies leverage the advantages of ICOs as an efficient way to access funding. Here are some thoughts that may be…