In our previous blog, we discussed the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)’s position on the taxonomy of tokenized securities and digital securities, and whether tokenized securities will be regarded as “complex products”. In this blog, we explore the guidance set forth in the SFC’s circular on intermediaries engaging in tokenized securities-related activities (the Circular).Read More
On 2 November 2023, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a circular addressing the participation of intermediaries in tokenized securities-related activities (the Circular). The move was timely, as we are seeing a growing interest among financial institutions in tokenizing traditional financial instruments in global financial markets.
The Circular supersedes the SFC’s 2019 Statement on Security Token Offerings (2019 Statement) and clarifies the meaning of tokenized and digital securities.Read More
Luxembourg and the EU have taken an important step forward in the area of blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (“DLT”). With a view to removing regulatory hurdles to the issuance, trading and post-trading of many financial instruments for which an EU regulatory framework already exists (such as the regulation of transferable securities, units in collective investment undertakings and derivatives under MiFIR, MiFID II and CSDR), the EU has put in place the DLT Pilot Regime through Regulation (EU) 2022/858 of 30 May 2022. The new DLT Pilot Regime applies (with certain limitations) to all (traditional) financial instruments within the meaning of MiFID II that are issued, recorded, transferred and stored using blockchain or distributed ledger technology (“DLT Financial Instruments”).Read More
By Rizwan Qayyum
The Government of Malta has issued a consultation paper on the framework relating to distributed ledger technology, ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet providers dealing in such assets. This follows their initial Discussion Paper on ICOs and Virtual Currencies published in November 2017, which outlined the basis for this consultation paper.
The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) issued a statement on initial coin offerings on 22 September. The GFSC has noticed the increasing use of tokens or coins based on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) as a means of raising finance, especially by early-stage start-ups. The sale of such tokens is often conducted using terms such as initial coin offering (ICO), token sale, initial token offering and the like.
A new regulatory framework for DLT will become operational in Gibraltar as from January 2018 and will regulate the activities of firms, operating in or from Gibraltar, that use DLT to store or transmit value belonging to others, such as virtual currency exchanges. Gibraltar is considering a complementary regulatory framework covering the promotion and sale of tokens, aligned with the DLT framework. In common with regulators around the world, the GFSC says that is continuing to monitor the use of unregulated tokens as a means of raising finance.
The U.S. GAO has issued a long-awaited report on the fintech industry, which focuses on the regulation of marketplace lenders, mobile payments, digital wealth management platforms and distributed ledger technology (“DLT” – often referred to as blockchain). For each of these fintech industry “subsectors,” the GAO report details the nature of the subsector and how it operates, as well as its potential benefits and risks. Moreover, the GAO report addresses industry trends, regulation and oversight for each subsector.
Marketplace lenders. The GAO report indicates that marketplace lenders may provide expanded and quick access to credit at lower cost than banks, although the report also notes risks related to loan term transparency and certain protections for small business borrowers. Read More