By Thomas Kulnigg

The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FinanzmarktaufsichtFMA) has recently published guidelines on how it views Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) from a financial services regulatory perspective. The guidelines intend to provide clarification on the FMA’s view on “Crypto Assets”, the term that the FMA uses for virtual currencies, coins and tokens.

What are ICOs?

The FMA confirms its understanding that ICOs typically

  • are transactions that aim at financing companies or projects by employing Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), aka Blockchain technology
  • Crypto Assets such as Bitcoin, Ether or similar/other coins and tokens provided in exchange for a coin or token of the issuer representing a participation in the issuer’s capital, a dividend right or which is otherwise linked to the relevant company/project.