Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures commission has issued a new statement regarding ICOs and it’s classification in Hong Kong. The stated that depending on circumstances, some ICOs may be regarded as securities and could fall under securities regulation.
Where the digital tokens involved in an ICO fall under the definition of “securities”, dealing in or advising on such digital tokens, or managing or marketing a fund investing in them, may constitute a regulated activity. Parties engaging in a regulated activity targeting the Hong Kong public are required to be licensed by or registered with the SFC, irrespective of where they are located.
The take home here is that if a Hong Kong hosted ICO has securities like attributes it may be classified as a security and must be licensed by the SFC.
One country two systems
Hong Kong is part of China but has a different legal system under the “one country two systems policy”. This means Hong Kong has its own legislative council and will enforce laws differently from Mainland China. Currently, this policy is geared more toward regulation rather than outlawing ICOs like what is happening in Mainland China.
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