Dubai Financial Regulator Issues Warning on ICOs

A finance regulator in Dubai has become the latest agency to warn investors about initial coin offerings (ICOs).

AccessTimeIconSep 13, 2017 at 6:20 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:55 a.m. UTC
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A financial services regulator in Dubai has issued a warning on initial coin offerings (ICOs).

In a new statement today, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) became the latest markets regulator to urge caution to prospective investors, a list which include agencies from Russia, Canada and the US, among others.

One notable difference is that the DFSA said that it "does not currently regulate these types of product offerings" or give licenses to firms within the Dubai International Financial Centre – a special economic zone within Dubai that the DFSA oversees – that offer such products or services.

The agency said:

"The DFSA wishes to highlight that these types of product offerings, and the systems and technology that support them, are complex. They have their own unique risks, which may not be easy to identify or understand; such risks may increase where offerings are made on a cross-border basis. These offerings should be regarded as high-risk investments."

For now, it's unclear whether the DFSA will take additional steps to regulate any kind of related activity within the economic zone.

As it stands, its statements only focus on the risk to investors, and do not offer any insight into whether the agency believes ICO tokens may be securities, a finding which would put its guidance in line with other regulators internationally.

Image via Shutterstock

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