PRESS RELEASE: ASIC: We Are Very Supportive of Innovation, Including in the Crypto-Asset Space

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12 November 2018, Melbourne, Australia. During the speech , John Price, Commissioner of Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), suggested that ASIC is and will always be a “very supportive of innovation, including in the crypto-asset space “.

Interest in ICOs and crypto-assets

Mr. Price stated, that despite the considerable hype and innovation brought by ICOs and crypto-assets ASIC aims to solve and respond to interest from consumers, investors, entities, advisors, service providers, and intermediaries.

According to John ASIC is also working and sharing information with other domestic and international regulators as they clarify how crypto-assets are regulated across taxation, AML, payment systems, and financial services to ensure shared learning across these areas.

Mixed Experience

Commissioner underlined that

“ASIC is very supportive of innovation, including in the crypto-asset space.”

and then added,

“But I have to say in this example, we have had some mixed experience during 2018 with initial coin offerings and token generation events, and have sent out clear messages that ASIC will not tolerate misleading or deceptive conduct.”

Information Sheet to Support Newcomers

At a current stage, ASIC has developed an Information Sheet for those entering this cryptocurrency-related area. Sheet explains that where a token offered through an ICO is a financial product and that the legal status of an ICO is dependent on the circumstances of the ICO, such as how it is structured and operated as well as the rights attached to the token and much more.

Mr. Price suggested that ICOs and crypto-assets are a complex area and strongly encourages those with an interest to step in this business, to discuss their plans with ASIC.

Commissioner of Australian Securities and Investments Commission concluded,

“Importantly, I’d like to highlight that, regardless of the structure, there is one law that will always apply – you can’t make misleading or deceptive statements about the product. This is a key focus for us and Australian law prohibiting misleading or deceptive conduct will apply in this space, regardless of whether there is a financial product involved.”

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