Blockchain Legislation丨Increased Accountability: Supervision and Legal Risks of an Initial Coin Offering
Initial Coin Offering or Initial Crypto-Token Offering (“ICO”) refers to the issuance of crypto-currencies. The concept stems from Initial Public Offering on the stock market. In an ICO, general investors exchange Ether, Bitcoin, or other virtual currencies for a new token offered by the issuer. A small number of ICO projects allow investors to pay in conventional currencies. There is a new trend appearing in the regulation of virtual currencies. Countries such as the United States, Japan, and South Korea are strengthening their regulation of ICOs. ICO issuers are usually entities registered outside of China. This can create jurisdictional issues. When relevant departments in China do have jurisdiction over an ICO issuer, a number of legal risks may arise. This article will focus on current supervision of ICO and related legal risks.