European Parliamentarians Propose EU-Wide ICO Regulatory Framework

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The EU Parliament’s The All-Party Innovation Group of has drafted a proposal to examine potential new rules that would bring ICOs within the scope of an EU-wide crowdfunding regulation that is currently being drafted. If the European Parliament green lights the proposal, this would mean a common EU-wide regulation and standards for ICOs, which would allow startups to raise funds using tokens and trade in the EU.

The meeting was live streamed and is also available here.

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According to analysts Hogan Lovells, The proposal to bring ICOs within the crowdfunding regulation was first introduced by UK MEP Ashley Fox.

More from Hogal Lovells:

“Among other things, Fox called for a cap of €8 million on token sale proceeds, anti-money laundering and know-your-customer requirements, as well as recommending that state authorities oversee the new system together with their own national rules.

He also recommended that “project owners” behind ICOs should provide a “key investment information sheet” to potential investors, containing a wide range of disclosures, from details of the identity, legal status and contact details of the project owner to detailed information on the platform, controls for risks management, how much money is being raised and what happens if the target is not reached.

The information provided to potential investors would have to be fair, clear and not misleading and project owners would be responsible for keeping it up to date and correct.”

Hogan Lovells Technology Partner John Salmon, who is helping draft the crowdfunding regulation and leads the firm’s global blockchain group, said at the meeting that the proposal is a step in the right direction and should be helpful for the market as it offers certainty and legitimisation, even though it might not work for all ICOs.

Salmon added:

“Having the certainty, but also having that legitimisation, I very much welcome having a European-wide proposal. I think it would be incredibly helpful to see that: it gives people the certainty to know… but we need to be clear whether this is a utility token or a transferable security, or how the regulatory regime comes within that. But I think it makes perfect sense because an ICO is another form of crowdfunding. It is different, but it is a form of crowdfunding.”

From the report:

“This regulation is an opportunity to provide regulation for initial coin offerings. At
present initial coin offerings are operating in an unregulated space and consumers are
at risk from fraudulent activity taking place in this market. This Regulation gives the
opportunity to ICOs that want to prove their legitimacy to comply with the
requirements of this regulation. Whilst this regulation may not provide the solution for
regulating the ICO market, it takes a much-needed step towards imposing standards
and protections in place for what is an excellent funding stream for tech start-ups.”

MEPs have until 11 September to submit amendments to the proposal, which would trigger further debate. If approved, the crowdfunding regulation is expected to come out in March 2019.


About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST
2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency
($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company
Blockchain Partners
(Oracle Partner) and ICO event organiser
at leading industry event CryptoFinancing (Europe's first ICO event now
branded Tokenomicon)
– Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher,
innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards
of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500
articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and
has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.  Irish Tech News put him in the top
10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of
at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang
at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he
was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School
for Business Automation 4.0 programme. Chevalier (Knight) - Ordre des
Arts et des Technologies at Crypto Chain University and an Advisory
Board Member of International Decentralized Association Of
Cryptocurrency And Blockchain (IDABC) as well as Advisory Board Member
at U.S. Blockchain Association. Over a half a decade experience judging
and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the
European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor
and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain
technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels,
Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki,
London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, San
Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel
Aviv,  Utrecht, Venice,  Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and
Zurich.  His network is global and extensive.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has
ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean
& Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business
Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and, and his work
and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and
French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart,
Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to
TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to
marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian
expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the
world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called,
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on
yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently
lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage
daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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