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Japan releases regulatory guidance on ICO

The Japanese Financial Services Agency released a statement on Oct. 27 warning of price volatility and potential fraud around ICOs. The statement also demonstrated the complexity of regulating ICOs, listing different regulations that apply depending on the ICO’s structure and whether it is classified as an investment.   

This follows a trend of governments in Asia thinking about regulation of ICOs. On Oct. 2, the Monetary Authority of Singapore clarified that ICOs must comply with existing securities law and alerted customers to risks of scams in virtual currencies. Singapore is considering additional regulation.

In September, the Chinese government banned ICOs until necessary regulation is introduced to resolve the uncertainty that surrounds them. In contrast, ICOs can be classified as securities in Hong Kong to fall within existing regulation.

Europe is more orientated towards self regulation. On Oct. 28, industry advocated published a Self Regulation Charter. It says that innovation in this field will flourish better without regulator involvement. The Charter seeks to establish industry standards in areas such as KYC security with the goal of rendering top down regulation unnecessary.

By Grace Appleford, Research Analyst at Holland FinTech

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