People's Bank of China officially defined the ICO as “unauthorized illegal financing” and explicitly required “any organization and individual to stop engaging in ICO”. In addition, cryptocurrency-related activities such as trading and mining are also prohibited in mainland China. Following China's footsteps, South Korea is the second country in the world to ban ICO. The Korea Financial Services Commission (FSC) stated that the ICO financing model violated the Capital Markets Act and imposed severe penalties on those involved in the ICO.
The Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA) issued an ICO Risk Statement mentioning ICO's risk of price volatility and fraud. Similar to Japan, the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also formulating regulations to regulate ICO. ICO companies are obliged to provide the anti-money laundering office with the names and transaction information of buyers and sellers.
The Singapore Monetary Authority (MAS) issued special regulatory guidelines that only if the ICO poses a specific risk, will it supervise related activates.
The Russian government is developing an ICO regulatory framework. Russia is also reported to be considering the introduction its own national cryptocurrency – dubbed the CryptoRuble – which would be legal tender in Russia.
The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) warned that ICO had the “possibility of a complete failure of investment”. Unlike the wavering Germany, France has taken the initiative to legalize ICO. The French Financial Market Regulatory Authority (AMF) proposed that the new regulatory framework for ICO would adopt an authorization system. Besides, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Lithuania are one of the few ICO-friendly countries.
South, North America and Africa:
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued subpoenas to a number of technology companies involved in ICO, requesting the other party to disclose ICO sales and pre-sale structures.
The Canadian Securities Regulatory Authority (CSA) adjusts the securities laws for use in ICO regulation. Meanwhile, Venezuela government issued a cryptographic currency by petro to raise capital. Most parts of Africa are still under ICO unregulated status. The Nigerian central bank once stated that “no bitcoin is a legitimate currency”, and the central bank governor even compared bitcoin to “a gamble” in a public speech.
- From a global perspective, Asia has the strictest regulations, including two countries in China and South Korea that explicitly ban ICOs;
- Most countries in the world are still in the ICO regulatory gap, or have not yet launched a formal regulatory framework;
- Global regulatory trends are basically moving towards more stringent or formal regulatory frameworks;