Australian regulator updated ICO and crypto assets regulation guide


The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released an updated guide for enterprises related to primary offers of tokens (ICO) and crypto assets.
For the first time, Australia issued an ICO guide for 2017, and in 2018, the regulator tightened control over the implementation of ICO commitments. The new manual details the legal obligations for cryptocurrency firms in accordance with the Corporate Law, ASIC Law and other rules.

“These regulatory requirements are applied to maintain the integrity of the Australian financial market and provide consumer protection,” the regulator said.

According to the statement, ASIC, ICO and crypto assets are in many cases financial products or include financial products that are regulated in accordance with the Corporate Law. Therefore, if a firm issues a token that falls under the definition of such a product, relevant laws will apply to it, including the requirement to have a license to provide financial services in Australia.

Laws also apply to those who provide advice or provide other intermediary services for cryptocurrency financial products. Operators of cryptocurrency wallets and depository services should ensure that they have the appropriate custodial and depository permits from the authorities. Miners, if they carry out clearing and settlement of settlements for tokens, which are financial products, are also subject to Australian law.

Cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms must also comply with the relevant rules, including a license to operate on the Australian market. At the same time, suppliers of cryptocurrency and trading services are required to apply for a license if they operate a “non-cash payment mechanism”, as well as comply with a number of laws. ASIC Commissioner John Price said:

“Australian laws will apply even if ICO or a crypto asset is promoted or sold to Australians from offshore. The issuers of ICO and crypto assets or their advisers should not assume that the use of these structures means that consumer protection under Australian law is not applied or can be ignored. ”

According to the ASIC, for ICO and crypto assets that are not financial products, their promoters must ensure that they do not mislead investors.

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