Weekly Legal digest 15.03.2019
“I was very wrong to think there was no use for a form of currency based on blockchain technology”, — Niall Ferguson, crypto sceptik, author of currency history book The Ascent of Money.
Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) is considering setting up formal regulations on security token offerings (STOs), in an effort to help small- and medium-sized startup companies raise fund in this innovative way and meanwhile protect investors from illegal funding.
It proposed that enterprises whose STO funding are above certain amounts shall initially be sandbox projects, and regulatory measures for them would be formulated and adjusted during the sandbox process; exemptions may apply for fundraising cases with certain small amount, that means, these STOs don’t have to go through procedures of ‘public offering’, but shall be subject to management rules of crowdfunding.
The fundraising amounts shall not exceed NT$30 million ($973 000) per year, and an individual investor shall invest no more than NT$50,000 ($1 620) in a project, and the total investment amount in a year shall not exceed NT$100,000 ($3 240).
The Russian State Duma adopted, in the third reading, the bill amending the Civil Code of the Russian Federation (the “Russian Civil Code”) to define the civil law status of certain cryptoassets and provide clarity in respect of the legal force of smart contracts. 1 From a civil law perspective, the Revised Version appears to be more detailed, but the authors of the Bill have decided not to set out the legal status of cryptocurrency in the Russian Civil Code.
The Bill will come into force on October 1, 2019.
The Finance Committee of France’s National Assembly believes that anonymous cryptocurrencies are used for fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, and energy consumption.
“It would also have been appropriate to propose a ban on the dissemination and trade in to ensure complete anonymity by preventing any identification procedure by design”, — Eric Woerth, the head of the Finance Committee of France’s National Assembly.
“The distinction between the different uses must continue, to establish a finer and more precise regulation protector of the general interest, as well as the private interest of the entrepreneurs of this domain”.
The German Federal Ministry of Finance has published a key issues paper on the treatment and regulation of blockchain-based securities.
The regulator discusses the introduction of regulations for electronic securities and the issuance of crypto tokens. The regulation of electronic securities should be technology-neutral, which means that they could be based on blockchain, or distributed ledger technology (DLT).
The issuance of crypto tokens purportedly will not be subject to existing market regulations since crypto tokens do not represent securities, investment or other financial instruments according to the Securities Trading Act.