German Financial Regulator Clarifies Stance on ICOs

The Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) has clarified its position on ICOs
22 February 2018   754

German financial regulator admitted it was receiving many inquiries about the status of tokens and cryptocurrencies. According to an advisory letter, BaFin provides some basic definitions of ICOs and related terms. It is important because the results of a new survey showed that more than two-thirds of Germans know about bitcoin.

In this letter, BaFin educates the public and explains how tokens are typically generated, how blockchain works and that ICOs are used to raise funds for startup projects. The note states that for regulatory purposes, ICOs, tokens, coins, and cryptocurrencies are subject to the existing provisions in the field of securities supervision and other relevant national and EU laws.

The authority advises participants in ICOs to check and follow rules applicable to regulated financial instruments, such as securities. If businesses or individuals have any doubts about regulations, they should approach BaFin.

According to BaFin, companies should fulfill any obligations under the Banking Act and the Capital Investment Code, the Insurance Supervision Act and the Payment Services Supervision Act. The transactions may be prohibited if relevant regulatory requirements are not met.

The authority also states that legal classification of tokens requires precise examination. It will determine their status on a case-by-case basis after studying their features. The token should be transferable and tradable on cryptocurrency trading platforms in order to be classified as a security.

Fidelity Investments to Launch BTC & ETH Platform

New platform is designed for institutional investors
16 October 2018   121

One of the world's largest asset managers, Fidelity Investments, announced the launch of a unit focused on providing institutional investors with Bitcoin and Ethereum services. The Forbes reports.

The new division received the name Fidelity Digital Assets and, possessing a staff of 100 employees, will provide a platform for trading cryptocurrencies and consulting services 24/7.

The platform already has first customers, but its launch for a wider range of investors is scheduled for the beginning of 2019.

This is a recognition that there is institutional demand for these assets as a class. Family offices, hedge funds, other sophisticated investors are starting to think seriously about this space.
 

Tom Jessop

Founding head, Fidelity Digital Assets

In particular, Fidelity Digital Assets will offer a transaction service that, using internal cross-connect and order routers, will trade through third-party liquidity providers.

One of the most popular offers by the company can also be a service for storing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It is physical storage, distributed in different geographical locations and offering the so-called "cold" storage of digital assets. This way of storing cryptocurrencies without access to the Internet and with a multi-level control system is considered to be one of the safest and most resistant to hacking today.

As the CEO of Fidelity Investments, Abigail Johnson, said, the goal of the new platform is to make digital assets like Bitcoin more accessible to investors.

Fidelity Investments is considered the fifth largest asset manager in the world, offering investment and custody services to 13,000 consulting firms and brokers. In total, the company manages assets worth $ 7.2 trillion.