14 December 2017

Carey Olsen advises ARC Fiduciary Ltd on Jersey's first ICO

Carey Olsen has advised ARC Fiduciary Ltd on the launch of Jersey's first Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

The ICO will see the issue of the ARC Reserve Currency, which is expected to become a widely used asset-backed stablecoin virtual currency.

Counsel Chris Griffin, who spearheads Carey Olsen's burgeoning digital assets and fintech practice, led the team advising ARC Fiduciary Ltd and was assisted by associate Joseph Barker-Willis. Carey Olsen worked closely with the Jersey Financial Services Commission to achieve a workable regulatory solution for the jurisdiction's first ICO. 

Mr Griffin said: "Against a very tight timetable, the Jersey regulator adopted a sensible and risk-based approach to give prospective purchasers a level of confidence that other jurisdictions may not be able to provide."

Commenting on the ICO launch, Stephen Findlay, co-founder of the ARC Reserve Currency and director of BondMason, said: "The asset management industry is only just beginning to embrace blockchain technology, yet as an industry it is likely to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of distributed ledger technology.

"One of the challenges the industry faces is to establish the correct regulatory approach for asset-backed cryptocurrencies – or so called ‘crypto assets’. In establishing ARC Reserve Currency (a crypto asset) we wanted to start to address this regulatory challenge and help to establish a positive framework and appropriate regulatory environment for all crypto assets.

"We selected Jersey as it was clear that they are one of the most forward-thinking and co-ordinated jurisdictions for cryptocurrencies. They were pro-active and engaged in reviewing our approach, and have enabled an important initial step in regulating the issuers of future crypto assets.

"There is still much more to be done on a global scale to establish an appropriate regulatory framework, which can accommodate the borderless nature of crypto assets. Nonetheless, we would recommend the issuer of any potential crypto asset to consider starting their efforts in Jersey."

ARC Fiduciary Ltd's ICO follows other recent cryptocurrency investment products being launched out of Jersey and confirms the island's reputation as a well-regulated fintech and crypto-friendly jurisdiction.

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