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ASIC: Australian Laws Still Apply to ICOs Created and Offered Overseas

On 26 April 2018, John Price of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) highlighted in a speech that Australian corporate and consumer laws might still apply to ICOs created and offered from overseas, so long as they were offered and sold to Australian consumers.  Mr Price warned that there was an incorrect perception that Australian regulations did not apply to activities engaged from overseas.

In addition, Mr Price mentioned that there was a certain level of opportunism that existed amongst businesses or people looking to undertake ICOs because they were seen as an “easy, low regulation and low cost option”.  He recommended that people interested in undertaking ICOs consider ASIC’s guidance on the subject and seek proper advice to avoid regulatory risks and consequently negatively impacting on the credibility of the token-based products and services sector.

We note that Australian financial services licensing laws are already written to capture offshore activity which target Australian investors.

ASIC will update its Information Sheet 225Initial coin offerings in the coming weeks with additional scope and answers to commonly-asked questions.

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Copyright 2020 K & L GatesNational Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 120
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About this Author

Jim Bulling, KL Gates, financial services lawyer, funds management attorney
Partner

Mr. Bulling's practise focuses on banking and financial services and he acts for a range of entities in the financial services and funds management industry. His clients include Australian and international investment managers, banks, trustees of superannuation funds, wholesale and retail investment trusts, funds management companies and financial planning groups.

His main areas of focus include banking and financial product disclosure issues, financial services compliance issues, financial product distribution issues and superannuation and...

61-3-9640-4338
Edwin Tan, KL Gates, investment fund attorney
Lawyer

Mr. Tan is a commercial and regulatory lawyer with a focus on the financial services industry. He advises on a range of Australian regulatory and compliance issues relevant to FinTechs, fund managers, financial advisers and other financial services entities.

Mr. Tan also provides advice on governance and compliance measures targeted at the prevention of bribery, corruption and anti-money laundering.

61 3 9205 2176
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