最有看点的互联网乐天堂娱乐门户

最有看点的互联网乐天堂娱乐门户
国际资讯监管与政策

加拿大监管机构批准首例合法ICO项目,这是玩的哪出?

ICO在中国已被定性为非法,然而在世界的另一边,加拿大的监管者则采取了完全相反的做法。

罚款?退款?不不不,加拿大魁北克乐天堂娱乐市场管理局(AMF)的目的是为更好地了解区块链应用。实际上,AMF不仅确定了由平台发起的代币销售(ICO)项目属于证券类,甚至接受这类ICO公司进入监管沙箱。有消息称, Impak Coin项目成为了AMF沙箱监管下的第一个项目,这也是首个合规的加拿大ICO项目。

值得注意的是,在几位证券发行人以保护投资者为目的而提出要求后,AMF也愿意在监管规则上进行退让。

展望未来,AMF 将成为加拿大ICO领域的主要监管机构,加拿大其他省和地区将通过加拿大证券通行证制度履行这一决定,该制度允许创业公司访问该国的所有市场。

追赶脚步

今年早些时候,加拿大证券管理机构(由省级证券监管机构组成的联盟)宣布,这一监管沙箱是为那些不易适应传统监管框架的乐天堂娱乐科技项目而设立的。而ICO这种新生的筹款机制,则符合这一定义。

授予免除权

AMF中介监管机构主任Sophie Jean表示,首先, Impak将不必登记为证券交易商。

另外,因ICO代币的分类被定为证券,按要求,相关代币分发需提供一份说明书,然而,Jean提到说AMF也放弃了这一要求。

到目前为止,Impak的代币已被批准了两年的测试应用窗口期。在此之后,利益相关者将重新集合到一起,并决定如何让Impak这一项目更好地运行。

该监管机构强调说,如何投资者对该项目并没有什么投诉,该机构愿意延长免除窗口期,甚至是永久性的,其提到说:

“如果没有人投诉证券监管环境的缺失,那么我们会考虑给予永久性的监管免除权。或者,如果我们有多个类似性质的提案,那么也许我们可以考虑永久性的监管修正案,以便我们的规章制度允许这样的情况。”

从实践中学习

AMF的官员进一步强调,通过监管沙箱来进行审批过程是至关重要的,因为这使得他们能够更好地理解这一商业模式,Jean解释说,虽然Impak是一个只拥有白皮书和新代币的“传统ICO”项目,监管者在过去并没有批准过这样的先例。

据悉,8月24日,AMF的官员在对接Impak项目时,采用了加拿大证券管理组织(CSA)的指导意见,既将其代币归类为证券。

As China moves to ban initial coin offerings (ICOs), a regulator on the other side of the world is taking the polar opposite approach.

Far from imposing penalties and refunds, Quebec's regulator for financial institutions, the Autorite des marches financiers (AMF), is seeking to better understand the blockchain use case – if not altogether encourage it. In fact, the AMF has not only determined that a token sale by Impak Finance, a platform for investing in socially responsible enterprises, is a security, it has gone so far as to accept the company into its regulatory sandbox.

With the news, Impak Coin becomes the first project to launch in the AMF's sandbox, announced earlier this year, and the first regulated ICO based in Canada.

Most notably, however, the AMF is also showing a willingness to bend certain rules for the sale, relieving Impak from several requirements securities issuers would normally be subjected to for investor protection purposes.

And according to Patrick Theoret, a director in AMF's corporate finance division, the regulator believes that's the best strategy for approaching new and novel tech.

He told CoinDesk:

"It’s in the spirit of the sandbox that we are willing to alleviate some of the requirements on, sort of, a test case basis. It's a test run to see whether there are investor protection [issues] with the relief that we grant."

Looking ahead, AMF will serve as the principal regulator to the token, and Canada's other provinces and territories will honor the decision via the Canadian securities passport system, which allows the startup access to all markets in the country while only complying with their principal regulator.

Catching up

Announced earlier this year by the Canadian Securities Administration – a consortium of provincial securities regulators – the sandbox is meant to jumpstart fintech projects that don't easily fit within the confines of a legacy framework. And ICOs, a nascent fundraising mechanism by which new cryptocurrencies are created and sold to investors, fit this definition.

In this light, Paul Allard, president of Impak, said the decision to participate in the sandbox was straightforward.

"I had been working with the regulators for several years prior to Impak Coin, and I knew that they were keen in adapting their regulatory framework to catch up with the cryptocurrency sector," he said.

But the decision was also a necessity since AMF determined Impak Coin – which will be used to power Impak's platform – met its definition of a security. Specifically, it's a contract in which there is an investment in a common enterprise with the expectation of profit on the efforts of others.

Yet, as this ruling could come down on other ICO projects in the country in the future, AMF representatives said Impak Coin is serving as a de-facto test for a new kind of business onramp.

Granting relief

But while impactful for regulators, it's the relief granted to Impak that might be most notable for innovators and entrepreneurs.

Firstly, Impak will not have to register as a securities dealer, provided certain terms and conditions – such as know-your-customer screenings – are met, according to Sophie Jean, director of supervision of intermediaries at AMF.

Plus, because of its categorization as a security, the token distribution is supposed to come with a prospectus – a printed document describing a commercial enterprise in order to inform investors – but the AMF waived that requirement also, Jean said.

So far, Impak's token has been approved as a test case for a two-year window, after which, the stakeholders will reconvene and decide how best to proceed with Impak and future ICO projects.

Theoret emphasized that, in the absence of any investor complaints or problems, the agency would be willing to potentially extend the relief on a more permanent basis, stating:

"If nobody has made a complaint [asserting] that they weren’t protected enough in the sense of the securities and regulatory environment, then we’ll consider granting permanent relief to the filer. Or, if we have [multiple proposals] of a similar nature, then maybe we can consider permanent regulatory amendments so that our regulations are changed to permit this."

Learning by doing

AMF officials further emphasized that working through the regulatory sandbox approval process was critical because it enabled them to better understand a business model much different than what they're accustomed to seeing.

Jean explained that while it's a "traditional ICO" in the sense that there's a white paper and a new cryptocurrency, the regulator didn't have a past precedent for the filing.

"This was very, very novel because we had to apply the principles of regulation to the filer and provide the filer with a tailor-made order providing terms and conditions for the distribution of the digital currency," she said.

In this way, officials from AMF see their work with Impak as in line with guidance issued by CSA on August 24, which attempts to clarify the circumstances under which a token will be considered a security. Both developments, they said, send a signal about how Canada is responding to the potential promise of blockchain technology.

More crucially, though, they also help bridge two communities who some have sought to portray as at odds.

Theoret concluded:

"A lot of these startups and blockchain-type companies might not have the level of sophistication in securities law to understand all these ramifications. It’s meant for everybody to take notice. Don’t forget about securities laws if you're endeavoring a project."


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