The guidelines set out how it intends to apply financial market legislation in handling inquiries from ICO organizers. According to it, regulators will oversee and regulate ICOs anti-money laundering laws.
FINMA clarifies how token issuers should proceed in the country. The regulator also stated that there is a sharp increase in the number of Switzerland-based ICOs. This led to questions about applicable regulations.
The press release noted that financial market law and regulation aren’t applicable to all ICOs. Each case must be decided on its individual merits.
The regulations will be based on economic function and purpose of the tokens issued by the ICO organizer. Due to the fact that there is no generally recognized terminology for the classification of tokens in the world, FINMA categorizes tokens into three types:
Payment tokens are synonymous with cryptocurrencies and have no further functions or links to other development projects.
Utility tokens are tokens which are intended to provide digital access to an application or service.
Asset tokens represent assets such as participation in real physical underlyings, companies, or earnings streams.
FINMA will handle ICO inquiries according to three different categories, based on the type of tokens they’ll be issuing.
Payment ICOs (payment tokens), that issue tokens that are transferable and function as means of payment.
Utility ICOs (utility tokens), that will not qualify as securities, as long as their purpose is to confer digital access rights to an application or service. If a utility token functions as an investment in economic terms, it will be treated as a security.
Asset ICOs (asset tokens), that issue tokens that will be seen as securities. This means they’ll be treated like equities or bonds. These will be subject to strict requirements.
Our balanced approach to handling ICO projects and inquiries 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.