13 July 2018

Carey Olsen welcomes Jersey's 'crypto-friendly' ICO guidance note

The Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) has released its final guidance note in relation to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

The JFSC ICO guidance note follows in the wake of several high profile crypto ventures launching from Jersey, including several ICOs, and formalises the road map for approval previously developed by the JFSC in consultation with law firm Carey Olsen which has advised on all Jersey ICOs to date.

In order to give prospective ICO investors a degree of disclosure and comfort – and being mindful of the guiding principle pursuant to which the JFSC discharges its functions as the island's financial services regulator – the JFSC sets out certain requirements an ICO issuer must meet. These include  appointing a Jersey resident director to the board of the ICO issuer, applying relevant AML/CFT requirements to either purchase tokens from or to sell tokens back to the issuer, an audit requirement  on the ICO Issuer and ensuring that any marketing material is clear, fair and not misleading, and contains certain prescribed consumer warnings.

Carey Olsen partner Chris Griffin, who spearheads the firm's Jersey crypto practice, said: "The guidance note sets out a clear and practical path, focusing on consumer protection and anti-money laundering, while recognising the fact that ICO promoters want to use Jersey because of the island's reputation as a well-regulated and reputable jurisdiction. Ultimately, the guidance note strikes a well-considered balance between establishing a crypto-friendly approach and the need to have appropriate measures in place to ensure proper investor disclosure and good governance."

Follow this link for a more in-depth briefing on Jersey's ICO guidance note.