UPDATED 20:46 EST . 18 FEBRUARY 2018 Switzerland has bucked global trends on initial coin offerings by issuing guidelines to support the ICO market and boost new blockchain technologies instead of simply banning them.
The new guidelines, issued by the country’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority, seek to clarify when entrepreneurs will have to apply existing Swiss laws in relation to anti-money laundering and securities laws. “Our balanced approach to handling ICO projects and enquiries allows legitimate innovators to navigate the regulatory landscape and so launch their projects in a way consistent with our laws protecting investors and the integrity of the financial system,” the authority said in a statement.
The guidelines split ICOs into three types: payment tokens such as cryptocurrencies that are not tied to the issuing company, utility tokens that provide access to the product or service, and asset tokens, which are tied to equity or other financial benefits in a given company. All three types will be required to comply with anti-money laundering laws.
Payment tokens exempt from securities registration, but asset tokens will require registration under securities law as well as civil law requirements under the Swiss Code of Obligations. Utility tokens will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with all exempt except where the token functions solely or partially as an investment.
Although the guidelines are positive for ICOs, it’s not clear whether they may yet be supplanted by Swiss government intervention. The Financial Times reported that a review of the Swiss ICO industry was launched in January to consider possible legislative changes to existing laws, although the findings of that review are not scheduled to be published until the end of the year. Read more from siliconangle.com…
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