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Payments & FinTech Lawyer

The Singaporean perspective on initial coin and digital token offerings

In its ruling on 25 July 2017, the United States Securities Exchange Commission (‘SEC’) stated that US securities laws may apply to offers, sales, and trading of interests in virtual organisations and applied the test set out in SEC v. W.J. Howey Co. (the ‘Howey Test’) to determine whether a digital token issued by a virtual organisation named The DAO constituted a security under US securities laws (it found that it did) (the ‘SEC Ruling’). On 1 August 2017, in the wake of a recent surge in the number of initial coin (or digital token) offerings (‘ICOs’) held out of Singapore as a means of raising funds, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (‘MAS’) followed the example of the SEC by making an announcement (the ‘MAS Announcement’) on its position with respect to digital tokens and offerings thereof in Singapore, as Jeffrey Maddox, Ben Witherall and Nicholas Dimitriou of Jones Day, explain.

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