Archive:November 30, 2017

ASIC Changes to Licence Processing Timelines and Fee Regime
Initial Coin Offerings “Horrify” a Former SEC Commissioner

ASIC Changes to Licence Processing Timelines and Fee Regime

By Jim BullingMichelle Chasser and Edwin Tan

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced changes to its service charter standard for processing licence applications effective immediately.  Under the updated standard, ASIC will decide 70% of licence applications within 150 days, and 90% of applications within 240 days.  The previous timeframes were 60 days and 120 days respectively.  ASIC has attributed this increase to an increasingly robust and risk-based approach to its assessment of licence applications.

In addition, a new fees-for-service regime will commence on 1 July 2018.  It will apply to document compliance reviews, licence applications or variations, applications for registration, requests for changes to market integrity rules or procedures and applications for relief.  There will be fee increases across the board for lodging ASIC forms, with the exception of certain registry activities which will now be exempt from payment of fees.

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Initial Coin Offerings “Horrify” a Former SEC Commissioner

By Robert Crea

On Sunday, November 26, 2017, the New York Times published an interview with Joseph Grundfest, former SEC Commissioner and current Stanford law professor.  Professor Grundfest is sharply critical of the posture of initial coin offerings under U.S. federal securities laws.  Given his persuasive voice on securities law matters and his influence in Silicon Valley, this interview may very well serve as a sobering wakeup call to the ICO marketplace.

Some notable quotes:

  • “ICOs represent the most pervasive, open and notorious violation of federal securities laws since the Code of Hammurabi. . . .It’s more than the extent of the violation . . . . It’s the almost comedic quality of the violation.”
  • “These are not hard cases . . . . You don’t need teams of accountants poring over complex financing documents [to bring enforcement actions].”
  • “We’re waiting to see a whole bunch of enforcement actions in this space, and we wonder why they haven’t happened yet. . . .I hope what [the SEC is] doing is planning on a sweep of 50 ICOs.”

The article may be found here.

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