Archive: September 7, 2017

Hong Kong and South Korea on ICOs
Bahrain announces first entrants into its FinTech regulatory sandbox

Hong Kong and South Korea on ICOs

By Rizwan Qayyum and Robert Crea

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission released a statement discussing whether existing regulations could be applicable to ICOs. This is a move likely precipitated by China’s ban on ICOs announced earlier this week.

The Executive Director of Intermediaries at the SFC, Julia Leung, warned that purchasers and those involved in an ICO need to be “that some ICO structures may be subject to Hong Kong securities laws.”

South Korean regulators have also taken a step towards tightening ICO regulation. South Korea’s digital currency task force group, comprised of the country’s central bank, and the Financial Services Commission (amongst other bodies) held a meeting on 3 September 2017, in which they discussed ICOs. It was noted that authorities will punish ICO fundraising platforms for violating the Capital Market Act by raising funds through stock issuance using digital currencies.

Bahrain announces first entrants into its FinTech regulatory sandbox

By Jonathan Lawrence

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has announced the first two entrants into its FinTech regulatory sandbox: Tramonex, a London-based foreign exchange cash management solution for businesses; and NOW Money, a Dubai-based account and remittance service for low-income workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The CBB launched its Regulatory Sandbox Framework in June and updated the framework rules at the end of August. The sandbox application process is open to both existing CBB licensees (financial institutions with FinTech initiatives) and other companies (local and foreign). The latter may include financial sector companies as well as technology and telecom companies intending to test an innovative product or service, professional service firms which partner with or service financial institutions, or any other type of applicant working within the financial services.

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