CEO of SICOS Arnab Naskar: The Swiss regulators are quite open towards innovative projects
22 January 2018
22 January 2018
Today one of the key issues when running an ICO is the choice of jurisdiction. Most of the countries have not decided yet on their attitude to initial coin offerings. However, there are not so many jurisdictions with a minimum of questions to this procedure. One of the tolerant countries is Switzerland.
The speaker of Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Bengaluru, CEO of SICOS Arnab Naskar explains why Switzerland attracts startups, why the ICO Code of Conduct is needed, and what is important to know while investing in tokens.
Interviewer: Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Bengaluru (BCB)
Speaker: Arnab Naskar (A.N.)
BCB: What tendencies do Swiss regulators currently have regarding ICO?
A.N.: Unlike other regulators, Swiss Regulators are quite friendly towards serious Blockchain projects, provided the regulators are adequately informed about the proposed ICO framework.
BCB: Switzerland is considered to be one of the most progressive countries in the world for crypto projects. Why would you say that is? Does Switzerland have legislative advantages in carrying out ICO compared to other European countries? What are they?
A.N.: The Swiss regulators are quite open towards innovative projects. That made Switzerland self-positioned as Crypto Valley with leading blockchain projects like Ethereum, Ardor, Lisk, Xapo, Lykke headquartered over there. The 2017 PWC report shows that in 2017, 4 out of 6 top 10 ICOs, by volume of USD raised, are hosted in Switzerland.
The Swiss FINMA is quite open with the startups and has admitted the fact that all the ICO tokens are not securities. However, the FINMA is also considering carefully whether certain ICOs fall under the purview of existing regulatory framework.
BCB: The other day, Crypto Valley Association issued its own ICO Code of Conduct. In your opinion, how will this document affect token sales? Will it be able to eliminate some of the risks associated with ICO and improve quality of the products provided?
A.N.: This document is a very good initiative. Self-regulatory frameworks are always welcome from such associations. Even in Germany, Paris, Hong Kong, Luxembourg similar self-regulatory initiatives are coming up. In 2018, we can expect a number of such initiatives being recognized by various Regulators.
Such self-regulatory framework puts a collective obligation upon the community. This will definitely help to eliminate the shady projects from the market and I hope that it will help to educate the Token Buyers.
BCB: Your company SICOS helps teams launch ICO. How do you choose projects, how many of them have you already done and what were the most interesting and promising ones?
A.N.: We have a strict on boarding policy for the projects. We use following yardsticks while choosing projects – novelty of the thought process, whether the Vision statement goes with the decentralized ideology, team behind such projects and their past experiences, the core competence of the existing team, their internal governance, founders inclination towards implementation of a proper disclosure routine etc.
BCB: What will your presentation at Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Bengaluru touch on?
A.N.: I will talk about the ICO regulatory situation in the EU and Switzerland. Also, I will briefly touch upon few self-regulatory initiatives in which SICOS is taking active part.
BCB: What materials would you recommend reading to those wishing to invest in ICO and cryptocurrencies?
A.N.: I would ask before investing in any ICO, the investors/buyers must read the whitepaper and/or the colored paper carefully, that the project has issued in public. Education is key for any investment decision. Also, it is always important to ask questions about the project as much as possible. A clean ICO project will never hide any relevant information from the public.
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