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Taiwan’s Financial Watchdog to Establish STO-Related Fundraising Mechanism This Year

The Taiwanese finance regulator plans to introduce a new STO-related fundraising mechanism, scheduled for release in June 2019.

Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) will establish a new fundraising mechanism based on security token offerings (STOs), according to an article published by financial news outlet Taiwan Economic Daily on Monday, March 4.

The FSC, an independent government agency subordinate to the Executive Yuan of the Republic of China (Taiwan), has revealed plans to adopt an STO-related fundraising mechanism. A symposium aimed at listening to the opinions of the industry’s practitioners on the issue is scheduled for the end of April this year, with plans to formulate relevant issuance standards and norms by the end of June 2019.

Gu Lixiong, the chairman of Taiwan’s FSC, underlined that there could be different exchanges for STOs not limited to existing stock exchanges. He also added:

“An STO is an emerging product of the next generation of capital markets, which may affect the popularity of Taiwan’s new creative teams in the international market in the next five to ten years.”

As Cointelegraph wrote on Oct. 24, Taiwan’s financial regulator had already revealed plans to outline official regulations for initial coin offerings by June 2019, reversing a hands-off policy adopted in 2017, according to the FSC chairman.

Elsewhere in Asia, last December, Tipsuda Thavaramara, the deputy secretary of the the Thai Securities and Exchanges Commission, announced that the regulator hadn’t decided yet how to regulate STOs in terms of share ownership, voting rights and dividends, as Cointelegraph reported on Dec. 1.

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Rhode Island Bill Would Exclude Some Tokens From Securities Laws

A bill introduced in the Rhode Island State Assembly would allow some “blockchain tokens” to avoid state securities laws.

A bill in the state legislature of the United States state of Rhode Island would exclude “blockchain tokens” from state securities laws. The bill was introduced in the legislature on Feb. 27.

The bipartisan bill H5595 proposes a series of amendments to the Rhode Island Securities Act, under which “a developer or seller of an open blockchain token shall not be deemed the issuer of a security,” should certain conditions be met.

The token must be used for a “consumptive purpose” that is exclusively exchangeable for “the receipt of, goods, services or content, including rights of access to goods, services or content.”

Tokens cannot be marketed as an investment, and if they are not usable for a “consumptive purpose” when sold, buyers must be prevented from reselling them. H5595 also excludes entities that facilitate the exchange of a token from broker-dealer status should they file a notification with the Secretary of State. The bill concludes by defining a “blockchain token” as:

“(2) Recorded in a digital ledger or database which is chronological, consensus-based, decentralized and mathematically verified in nature, especially relating to the supply of units and their distribution; and (3) Capable of being traded or transferred between persons without an intermediary or custodian of value.”

According to legislation info portal Legiscan, the bill was referred to the House Finance Committee following its introduction. No information regarding further votes was forthcoming.   

A similar law was recently passed in the Colorado General Assembly. SB023 or the “Colorado Digital Token Act” will offer limited extra freedoms for cryptocurrencies and traders. Specifically, the bill “provides limited exemptions from the securities registration and securities broker-dealer and salesperson licensing requirements for persons dealing in digital tokens.” At press time the law is awaiting the signature of the governor to become law.

Following the federal midterm elections in November 2018, a number of states gained crypto- and blockchain-friendly representatives and officials. In Rhode Island, the sitting Democratic governor, Gina Raimondo — who is ranked high in blockchain-friendliness — defended her post against a Republican challenger.  

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Belarus: High Tech Park Releases ‘Complete Legal Regulations’ for Cryptocurrencies

The rules for operation of the cryptocurrency market in Belarus have been approved, after being released by the country’s High Tech Park.

Belarus High-Technologies Park (HTP), a national special economic zone contributing to the IT business, has established the rules for the operation of the cryptocurrency market in the country, according to documents published by HTP Nov. 30.

The regulatory documents define the requirements for various types of businesses related to cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), as the general rules for industry regulations — Decree No. 8 “On the Development of the Digital Economy” — had already been signed last year.

The HTP, commonly known as the Belarusian Silicon Valley, was responsible for establishing the rules under which the cryptocurrency industry would be regulated in the country. Today, the HTP has published five documents: “Requirements for Applicants,” “Requirements for Cryptoplatform Operators,” “Requirements for Cryptocurrency Exchange Office Operators,” “Requirements for ICO Operators,” and “Requirements for Internal Control Rules.”

Now that these rules have been accepted, they form “a complete legal regulation of cryptocurrency in Belarus,” local Belarusian news outlet reports. It also states:

“The cryptocurrency activities of the HTP residents received full comprehensive legislative support from the regulator. The HTP administration, together with the National Bank, the Financial Monitoring Department of the State Control Committee, international experts and other bodies, compiled and signed all the necessary documents.”

Back in the spring, the Belarus government called the digitalization of the national economy “a top priority,” because of its ability to transform “the economy, public administration and social services,” as Cointelegraph reported May 16.

Previously this fall, the deputy foreign minister of Belarus stated that Belarus aimed to establish relations with South Korean investors interested in the so-dubbed “fourth industrial revolution” technologies, focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain, Cointelegraph wrote Sep. 6.