Legal and Regulatory Issues on Cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have gained popularity over the past few years. On the other hand, some technology start-up companies are raising money by issuing cryptocurrencies in return for funds. This is often called “doing an ICO (Initial Coin Offering)”. While cryptocurrencies and ICO are relatively new and their legal status remains unclear, regulators in most relevant jurisdictions are formulating new rules to tighten their control over such activities or issuing repeated warnings to potential investors given the vulnerability of such transactions to fraud, money laundering or terrorist financing risks. The following course will provide information on the latest legal and regulatory issues arising from cryptocurrencies and ICO in Hong Kong and also briefly explore the regulatory position in some other relevant jurisdictions.

Detailed Information

Highlights of the course include:

  • Introduction to Cryptocurrency (e.g. Bitcoin), Initial Coin Offering (ICO), Blockchain
  • Legal status of cryptocurrency in Hong Kong
  • Regulatory regimes in PRC, US, UK, Singapore, Japan and South Korea
  • Regulatory regime in Hong Kong – applicable laws:
    • Banking Ordinance (Cap. 155)
    • Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) Ordinance (Cap. 615)
    • Payment Systems and Stored Value Facilities Ordinance (Cap. 584)
    • Companies (Winding Up and Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (Cap. 32)
    • Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571)
  • Is Initial Coin Offering (ICO) subject to Hong Kong securities law?
    • 2 key questions to ask – case by case approach
    • Offering subject to prospectus/authorization requirements?
    • Marketing materials subject to SFC approval?
    • Licensing requirement on the person who offers and sells cryptocurrency?
    • Marketing in HK? What about marketing on the internet?
    • How is ICO normally structured to minimize the regulatory risks?
    • Case studies
  • Typical flow of an ICO launch and the required legal documentation
  • Know-your-client (KYC) issues and control
  • Possible future development?

Registration Conditions

To view our registration conditions click HERE.