Let’s talk token regulation

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The U.S. is losing ICO token issuers to other jurisdictions around the world.

Regulatory uncertainty and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations into ICOs has unnerved some startups because it has yet to make a formal decision about token regulation, so issuers and other stakeholders are looking at other jurisdictions that will be a better bet for launching their projects.

The recent Token Summit in NYC revealed, “startup founders, attorneys and investors had strong opinions about how far to go in an environment where enforcement agencies know how easy the market boom for the tokens makes it for malicious actors to spin up a fake company and bilk millions of dollars out of unwitting buyers,” says Coindesk.

Throughout the event, various speakers returned to the question of regulation, and form them it became clear that the rest of the world isn’t nearly as complicated as the U.S.

Speakers from Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Gibraltar spoke to the audience, assuring them that their countries take an extremely responsible approach, but one that is less anxiously aggressive than that of U.S. rule-makers.

The representatives from Liechtenstein argued that the small country has sufficient regulatory staff to work with companies and help them build businesses that are still within its regulatory framework. Meanwhile, representatives from Gibraltar said that its regulators have done the work to design a regulatory framework from the ground up that specifically fits the new era of cryptocurrency and blockchain.

Meanwhile, U.S. lawyers are frustrated, but hopeful. Several who have been working with the SEC spoke on a panel about where the country is at in terms of defining rules for the industry. “What we’re doing primarily is educating the SEC on what blockchain is. Nancy Wojta, a former SEC employee, now with Cooley LLP, said: “I think there was just a misunderstanding by them to what cryptocurrency is all about. They hear ‘cryptocurrency’ and they think ‘fraud.’”

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