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The Digital Environment and ICOs

Earlier this week, ASIC commissioner John price addressed the challenges of regulating the digital environment.

In his speech, he addressed their approach with the innovation hub, the regulatory sandbox, their own work with the NLP trials, their relationships with Regtechs and the perennial challenge of cyber resilience and cybersecurity.

A couple of months ago the Wayne Byres also delivered a speech looking at the challenges of regulating a shifting environment, when it comes regulating new digital landscape.

At the time Byres was speaking in the context of the consumer data right and the cloud.


When it comes to the Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) despite the range of products that this covers, one thing that will not change is the conduct regulator intolerance of misleading and deceptive conduct.

“This is a key focus for us and Australian law prohibiting misleading or deceptive conduct will apply in this space, regardless of whether there is a financial product involved,” ASIC Commissioner John Price said at the recent Monash Centre for Commercial Law Symposium in Melbourne.

On the ASIC website, it states that Australian Law prohibits misleading and deceptive conduct when it comes to promotional communications on cryptocurrencies or ICO’s.

For those ICOs that are financial products the misleading and deceptive conduct is directly dealt with the Regulatory Guide 234 Advertising Financial Products and Services: Good Practice Guidance.

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