Article prepared by and republished courtesy of our colleagues Luke Gannon, Scott Thiel and Hayden Lau; originally published here:
https://www.dlapiper.com/insights/publications/2017/09/the-sfc-comments-on-icos/

The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (the SFC) has debunked the myths that no securities laws apply to ICOs. In its first direct statement on the subject, the SFC fired a warning shot at issuers and intermediaries of ICOs and token offerings, reminding them that they may be conducting regulated activities and therefore, may be required to be licensed by or registered with the SFC, irrespective of where they are located.
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One of the more interesting phenomena in early-stage investing is the recent emergence of initial coin offerings (“ICOs”), token generation events (“TGEs”), or similar distributed ledger or blockchain-enabled means for raising capital. Much has been written, including by many skilled lawyers in the technology sector, about whether the tokens issued in these structures involve “securities” – and, frankly, some of it is unhelpful. Hungry for something that seems like crowdfunding, but that actually works to raise meaningful capital for promising technology initiatives, many in the technology space really want these
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Much has been written recently on blockchain, Bitcoin, Ethereum, cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICO). Unfortunately, for non-computer scientists (like me), trying to understand these concepts and their potential implications can be a bit overwhelming. To help all of those non-technologists trying to get their heads around blockchain, Bitcoin, Ethereum, cryptocurrencies and ICOs, I pulled together the following list of resources that I have found useful. As an attorney who represents startup and emerging growth companies, it seems likely that these technologies will prove to be disruptive to how we do business, build new technology, fund startups and even think about employment – much like the initial proliferation of the Internet. Let’s start with a brief overview of these technologies and how they relate to each other.
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