Austria is the latest country to begin a process to introduce regulations for cryptocurrencies. While US regulators are prioritising the protection of investors, Austria’s primary concern is eliminating money laundering.
The regulations will be based on the existing framework used to regulate gold and derivative trading. The regulator is also proposing regulations for initial coin offerings.
Pushing for Europe-wide Framework
As a starting point, they will apply the existing rules with regards to insider trading, front running and market manipulation of securities. Companies conducting ICOs will also have to submit a digital prospectus to the financial regulator.
In addition, Austria’s Finance Minister, Hartwig Loeger said the European Union needs to adopt a set of regulations for cryptocurrencies and ICOs. This sentiment was echoed by members of the regulatory board who said that because crypto assets are not limited by borders, oversight needed to happen at a European level.
Coincidentally, the European Commission held a roundtable discussion on cryptocurrency regulations yesterday. Officials present at the discussion said more work will be required before they decide on additional measures. They did, however, acknowledge the value of ICOs as a means for innovative companies to raise capital.
On the whole, many of these developments are positive. The fact that regulators are treating cryptocurrencies like gold and derivatives, gives them a new level of legitimacy. And, requiring ICOs to submit prospectuses should discourage and restrict bad actors, which will give investors a greater level of comfort.