ICO Oversight? Israeli Regulators Form Token Sale Study Committee

by Stan Higgins

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Regulators in Israel have formed a new committee to study the applicability of domestic securities laws to initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Announced today, the development sees the Israeli Securities Authority panel putting together recommendations for potentially regulating ICOs. A report containing those recommendations sometime before the end of December. Officials working on the committee will also look into the approaches taken by other regulators worldwide, as well as the “the enforceability of securities laws in this area,” among other subjects.

With the move, Israel’s securities watchdog becomes the latest regulator of its kind to wade into the murky question of regulating ICOs.

Just last week, regulators in Canada released a staff noticing outlining how that, under its view, some blockchain-based tokens count as securities. At the same time, the Canada Securities Administrators (CSA) struck a proactive note and encouraged companies planning an ICO to reach out to the body.

Other regulators, including those in Singapore and the US, have also revealed their plans for regulating ICOs. Like Canada, their general stance is that while some token sales qualify as securities offerings, others – particularly tokens that have some kind of independent utility – do not.

It’s a noteworthy development as well given that the country plays home to several startups that have pursued or are planning to raise funds through the model. Perhaps most notable among those is Bancor, which raised more than $150 million through a token sale in June.

To date, nearly $2 billion has been raised through ICOs, according to data from CoinDesk’s ICO Tracker.

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