DLA Piper is proud to announce that it has completed the world's first survey of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and securities token offerings (STOs) across the globe in over 70 jurisdictions. The survey is testament to the bench strength and the deep experience of our Emerging Growth and Venture Capital, Capital Markets, and securities, financial and commodity regulatory teams.

Our findings underscore the need to involve legal teams early in an offering, alongside technology and corporate advisers, because the approach taken by regulators differs widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Regulatory concerns, the survey shows, can range from an outright ban on ICOs and STOs (or any token generation event) to such offerings being permitted, provided the right analysis, safeguards and regulatory compliance issues are properly addressed.

ICOs and STOs are not generally regulated as a specific product under most financial regulatory regimes. The financial regulator will typically apply the existing regulatory regime to the underlying product, activity and/or business (ie, is it a security? a commodity? electronic money? Or does the activity constitute a regulated activity?). Based on this analysis, the offering or platform may fall outside current regulation, or it may be subject to regulatory requirements and restrictions.

ICOs, STOs and token generation events are the first and most widespread venture application of blockchain. We as a firm believe that these events are here to stay – and that they will come to form a complementary part of the new venture landscape. DLA Piper is happy to assist issuers, investors and all other stakeholders in navigating this novel technological advancement.

To discuss the findings and how we can support global offerings, please email us at icocompliance@dlapiper.com.


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