Lecture member of the executive board of the ECB: Virtual or virtueless? The evolution of money in the digital age.
In the lecture, reference is made to the regulation of cryptocurrencies and ico's. The following is stated:
"Beginning with the VCs themselves, it is clear that they cannot be directly regulated or overseen in the absence of a centralised governance and legal framework."
"In the same vein, relevant market authorities should monitor, analyse and regulate the use of ICOs. An ICO is a way of raising money from the public, often to start a project or to finance a company, using coins or tokens. In an ICO, an entity issues newly created coins or tokens and offers them in exchange for fiat currencies, such as the euro, but more often VCs. In 2016, the total amount of funds raised through ICOs was less than €82 million. This number has dramatically increased to over €3 billion raised through ICOs in 2017. Potential explanations for the increasing popularity of ICOs is that they allow companies to raise funds without ceding control to venture capital investors, or enduring the rigour and expense of an IPO process involving a legally binding prospectus, among other things.
Depending on their features and characteristics, ICOs can be regarded as either the issuance of VCs, as utility tokens to access or purchase a service or product, or as securities. In the latter case in particular, clarification is needed on the extent to which ICOs should be bound by existing regulations, such as on disclosure and prospectuses. This is particularly relevant when tokens are exchanged for fiat money."