Japan to Tighten ICO Regulation

All the organizers of the ICO will have to be registered with the local watchdog
03 December 2018   394

The Financial Services Agency of Japan (FSA) is planning to introduce new rules for the regulation of ICOs to protect cryptocurrency investors. It is reported by the Cointelegraph, citing the local news publication Jiji Press.

The publication quotes "informed" sources, according to which all the organizers of the ICO will have to be registered with the FSA.

In addition, the agency plans to introduce new bills, which will revise the rules for exchanges, payment services and other suppliers of financial instruments. It is expected that this will occur in January, when the parliamentary session starts.

It is argued that the regulator is taking this step in the light of several potentially fraudulent projects conducted outside of Japan. In particular, in order to better protect private investors, the agency intends to limit their investments in ICO.

In October it was reported that the FSA plans to set a limit on the size of leverage during cryptocurrency trading in order to reduce risks and market speculation. This measure was also recommended by the of Japan Virtual Currency Exchanges of Association (JVCEA), which had previously received the status of a self-regulating organization.

Earlier this week, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fined the famous American boxer Floyd Mayweather and music producer DJ Khaled for promoting ICO of Centra Tech in social networks. In particular, the regulator found that celebrities hid the fact that the organizers paid them for advertising tokens.

ICOs May Allocate $24B Tokens to Themself

As reported, price of tokens, "left to cover the operating costs", reached $80B at the peak
17 January 2019   146

The total cost of the tokens that the organizers of well-known ICO projects have left to cover the operating costs and remuneration of developers at the time of release was $ 24.2 billion. At the peak, their price reached almost $ 80 billion. This is evidenced by the results of a study conducted by BitMEX together with the TokenAnalyst.

At the current illiquid rate, the assets of ICO-projects in their own tokens amount to about $ 5 billion, having depreciated by more than $ 70 billion.

However, the researchers note, this value is rather arbitrary, since the liquidity of tokens at peak levels was low. It is also incorrect to classify changes of this amount as losses because the organizers of the ICO transferred tokens into their wallets in accordance with the crowdsale conditions.

Having studied the archive of token transfers from ICO-team wallets, BitMEX and TokenAnalyst came to the conclusion that the realized profit from the sale of such tokens could be $ 1.5 billion, with the proviso that some of the tokens might not have been sold or left the wallets for other reasons .

The largest amounts of tokens in their wallets were credited by the Veritaseum and Noah project teams, which, as analysts say, looks “almost comical” against the background of real trading volumes.

Token data up to Dec 2018, data based on prices at the time(s) of issuance
Token data up to Dec 2018, data based on prices at the time(s) of issuance

This analysis highlights the lack of standards and transparency in the ICO market, especially when it comes to the allocation of tokens to the founding team’s wallet. Teams were often able to mint, burn, buy, and sell (their own) tokens at will, without analysts being able to easily track what is occurring. We would often see tokens in exchange clusters, and it was hard to tell whether the token project “paid” the exchange to list tokens or the token project just transferred their treasury to the exchange to cash out.
 

BitMEX Researchers' Report

In November 2018, BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes said that the tokens of the largest ICO projects would collapse after entering the secondary market.