The European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs published a draft report on crowdfunding solutions on August 10, with a proposal for some initial coin offerings (ICOs) to be included in the highly anticipated draft regulatory framework for crowdfunding; expected early next year.
British MEP Pushes for ICOs
A British Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Ashley Fox, believes that the draft, which has been under development since March this year, should include regulations for ICOs as well. This would help bring ICOs that meet certain requirements under the purview of the European regulatory framework, providing these businesses with an“opportunity” for “ICOs that want to prove their legitimacy to comply with the requirements of this regulation.”
According to the report, Fox stated that new requirements should not extend to every ICO. It would only apply to projects looking to raise less than 8 million euros via a public sale. Private placements, those using a counterparty or those intending to raise more than 8 million euros will not qualify. Note that the 8 million euro limit is the “threshold up to which EU Member States can exempt offers of securities to the public from the obligation to publish a prospectus in accordance with Article 3 Regulation (EU) 2017/1129 of the European Parliament and of the Council.”
What Does the Report Suggest About ICOs?
The draft report is not the final and definitive solution for all issues related to the initial coin offering space, but it does represent “a much-needed step” towards protecting investors whilst not stifling innovation and legitimate fundraising exercises for startups and other established companies.
The report suggests that ICOs are “an excellent funding stream for tech start-ups.” It stated further:
“In order to allow for a competitive Union framework, Crowdfunding service providers should be permitted to raise capital through their platforms using certain cryptocurrencies […] ICOs offer new and innovative ways of funding but can also generate substantial market, fraud and cybersecurity risks to investors. Therefore, [ICOs] should comply with specific additional requirements under this Regulation.”
This could help ICOs prove their legitimacy and operate under the law in the region. If the policies are accepted and enacted, it could usher Europe in the age of cryptocurrencies and also help several investors explore a new asset class.