Australia's Securities Watchdog Has Halted 5 ICOs Since April

Australia's securities regulator said late last week that it has halted five initial coin offerings (ICOs) in as many months.

AccessTimeIconSep 24, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:24 a.m. UTC
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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said late last week that it has stopped five initial coin offerings (ICOs) from taking place since April.

In a statement, the commission indicated that some of those token sales – which were unnamed – "will be restructured to comply with the applicable legal requirements." It's a notable, statement from Australia's chief securities market regulator, signaling that it is open to some ICOs – albeit ones that are conducted within the parameters of its legal statutes.

"ASIC is taking further action in respect of one completed ICO," the agency added without offering additional details.

Such work was highlighted earlier this year when ASIC said that it was contacted ICO issuers and putting a stop to ones it deemed deceptive toward investors.

Commissioner John Price said at the time that those who solicit investors for token sales have obligations – a sentiment that he expressed in last Thursday's release.

"If you raise money from the public, you have important legal obligations. It is the legal substance of your offer - not what it is called - that matters," Price was quoted as saying. "You should not simply assume that using an ICO structure allows you to ignore key protections there for the investing public and you should always ensure disclosure about your offer is complete and accurate."

Other parts of the Australian government have been engaging with the technology as well.

As CoinDesk reported in August, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) said that its research arm is working with IBM to develop what it's calling a "national blockchain" that businesses could use to conduct transactions.

Marble in maze image via Shutterstock

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