On August 24, 2017, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) released a staff notice on cryptocurrency offerings that sets out the CSA’s view on initial coin and token offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges (online exchanges that allow individuals to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using fiat currency or other cryptocurrencies), and cryptocurrency investment funds (investment funds set up to invest in bitcoin and/or other cryptocurrencies).

Initial coin offerings (ICO) or initial token offerings (ITO) are events where a coin/token is first being released to the public and individuals are able to purchase them in exchange for fiat currency or another cryptocurrency. As the notice discusses, ICOs and ITOs are similar to initial public offerings (IPO).

At the core of the notice is the CSA’s finding that in many cases coins or tokens, such as bitcoin and Ether, are similar to traditional shares of a company and are therefore subject to security regulation including:

  1. with respect to ICOs, ITOs and the selling or trading of coins/tokens: the prospectus requirement (or exemption);
  2. with respect to cryptocurrency exchanges: the regulatory rules regarding marketplaces; and
  3. with respect to cryptocurrency investment funds: the prospectus requirement (or exemption), investment fund rules, due diligence requirements on cryptocurrency exchange, registration categorization of the investment fund, valuation considerations, and investment fund custodian requirements.

For more information see: https://tinyurl.com/yd2mza95

Summary By: Thomas Wong

E-TIPS® ISSUE

17 09 06