Japan’s FSA defines policy on cryptocurrencies and ICOs

The Japanese Financial Services Agency announced a document clarifying its financial administrative policies on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offering
20 November 2017   1153

FSA has recently published 41-page document on financial policy. There is the unit on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

First topic of discussion was providing protection of crypto-exchanges. As cryptocurrencies utilizing Blockchain technology, “which was not seen before,” agency claimed that both business and system management required.

The agency decided to “look at the trends in the currency market” and ensure that each operation took place at exchanges. FSA also pays its attention to the balance between the promotion of innovation and the protection of users, noted that it is necessary to monitor whether the system is in place, they will respond to changes in the environment surrounding the virtual currencies for protecting users, such as verifying appropriate explanation or information provision for users is in place.

FSA tries to provide high-level security to users “through safe and stable system operation and fraud prevention.” It will be provided by verifying whether risk management has already been installed at crypto-exchange.

The Agency also will struggle against such crime acts like money laundering.

 

SEC May Signal Some Flexibility on ICOs

Looks like senior advisor for digital assets and innovation at SEC is not 100% against ICOs
14 December 2018   25

Some blockchain projects may be able to circumvent the requirements of US securities laws by contacting the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a so-called non-action letter. As SEC consultant on digital assets and innovations Valerie A. Szczepanik explained, such letters will not be issued often, but this does not mean that they cannot be received at all.

I think that’s a way forward for a lot of people who want to implement some of these things that may not exactly fit in the format of the rules that we want. 
 

Valerie A. Szczepanik

Senior advisor for digital assets and innovation, SEC

According to advisor, issuers of tokens have three ways to comply with the requirements of the laws: register an offer of securities, declare an exceptional case, or "make sure they're not a security."

In certain cases, the SEC may decide that “maybe this doesn’t fit the letter of our law or regulation but it fits the spirit and we can accomplish all the goals of investor protection”. In this scenario, the SEC may indeed issue such a letter, which will indicate that its employees do not recommend taking legal measures against a particular issuer.

The letters set forth exactly what the person plans to do or the entity plans to do and if it’s something that the SEC feels comfortable with we can release a no-action letter for exemptive relief saying ‘we can recommend no enforcement action.
 

Valerie A. Szczepanik

Senior advisor for digital assets and innovation, SEC

As reported, her remarks signaling a modicum of flexibility are notable in light of SEC Chairman Jay Clayton’s advice last month to anyone raising money by selling a token that they should “start with the assumption that it is a security.”

Speaking about the principles of recognition of tokens as securities, Valerie recommended to take into account the structure of sales. According to her, only in rare cases the token will not be recognized as a security. Most often, investors expect to profit from investments in such proposals, which is enough to recognize them as the spread of securities.