Hong Kong made strong moves to step up regulation on initial coin offerings (ICOs), which it deems securities.
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) released a statement revealing it sent warnings to seven exchanges that were based in or strongly connected with Hong Kong warning them to delist tokens affiliated with ICOs.
According to Coindesk, the move was part of a larger push for the SFC to warn consumers about the risks of cryptocurrency investing.
The statement said, “Most of these cryptocurrency exchanges either confirmed that they did not provide trading services for such cryptocurrencies or took immediate rectification measures, including removing relevant cryptocurrencies from their platforms.”
In addition to the exchanges, the SFC also contacted seven ICO organizers who are soliciting investments using coins the commission considers to be securities.
Ashley Alder, the SFC’s Chief Executive Officer said, “We will continue to police the market and enforce when necessary. But we are also urging market professionals to do proper gatekeeping to prevent frauds or dubious fundraising and to assist us in ensuring compliance with the law.”
It looks like, at least in Hong Kong, that ICOs fall under securities regulations, and will have to operate as such. ICOs are also seen as securities in many other places throughout the world although many investors enjoy them as a way to grow their crypto portfolios while supporting ideas and technologies they feel are strong.