16 Feb 2018 financial regulator FINMA Switzerland published
clear guidelines for the conduct of IPOs tokens (ICO). In its statement, the regulator outlined plans for the application of financial laws to different tokens, and also about how the organizers of the ICO can get the proper feedback from FINMA in the planning or launch of the ICO.
In the manual
market participants disclose information necessary for a competent decision by the regulator of all matters in respect of ICO, and how FINMA intends to apply the existing legislation on financial markets to ICO. Published guidelines are intended to Supplement the manual FINMA 04/2017, which deals with the regulation of IPOs tokens.
FINMA is most concerned about creating transparency. As noted by the regulator in the manual: «Transparency is extremely important, given the dynamics of the market and the high level of demand». FINMA also pointed to the increasing number of requests associated with a sharp increase in the number of scheduled and conducted by the ICO in the country as a motivational factor.
Interest of a regulator to the issue of transparency is clearly reflected in his statement:
«ICO raises numerous legal issues for which there is no relevant case law and there is no coherent legal doctrine. Given the wide variety of token types and types ICO, it is impossible to produce a General rule. The circumstances should be considered specifically in each individual case».
The Swiss regulator also said that it will pay attention to «the main purpose tokens» and tokens «can be traded and pass them.» In the new principles also detailed that FINMA klassificeret tokens are three types: payment tokens, tool tokens and token campaign. The token can belong to more than one group.
FINMA also explained how it will determine the situation of ICO projects in the fight against money-laundering (AML) and compliance with the rules for the regulation of securities. To do this, the regulator proposes to market participants rely on the following table:
At the end of the statement, FINMA warns about the risks associated with investments in ICO, and emphasizes the innovative potential of the blockchain technology. The head of FINMA mark Branson (Mark Branson) says:
«Using the technology of the blockchain is the innovation potential within the financial markets, and far beyond. However, the blockchain projects that are similarly regulated activities, not just to bypass the time-tested regulatory framework. Our balanced approach to working with the ICO projects enables innovators to navigate the regulatory rules and to run their campaigns that way, the laws protect investors and the integrity of the financial system».
Switzerland became the first major country to have released such detailed and clear guidance on the conduct of the ICO. These rules were the result of the working group on the regulation of ICO and blockchain startups, which was created
authorities in January of this year.