Lithuania has released comprehensive new “guidelines” on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in a document published June 8. Officials are heralding the move as a “step towards certainty and transparency” in the country.
Coming two months after the government set up a roundtable to establish dialogue between banks, ICO operators and other entities, the guidelines see confirmation from Minister of Finance Vilius Šapoka that ICOs “should be regulated.”
“Lithuania already has an exceptional regulatory advantage. We are one of the first ones in Europe who prepared comprehensive Guidelines on legal framework for ICO projects covering regulatory as well as taxation and accounting,” he said in introductory remarks, continuing:
We acknowledge that the brave new crypto economy world is here to stay, this is why we encourage and invite its participants to innovate and create in Lithuania.”
Covering a wide range of regulatory aspects including taxation, accounting and anti-money laundering (AML), lawmakers appear to single out an ICO token’s “granting profits or governance rights” as the key determining factor as to whether it constitutes a security.
Lithuania’s approach seeks to smooth over the gaps in legislative understanding for both consumers and businesses involving themselves in ICO token handling.
“These Guidelines are another step towards more certainty and transparency in the regulatory, taxation, accounting and other requirements as well as better cooperation between different stakeholders,” the introduction continues.
The issue of whether or not crypto tokens should be classified as securities currently forms the focus of a major probe by U.S. and Canadian regulators. In the U.S. the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week admitted it was “underwhelmed” by the lack of cryptocurrency entities registering as securities operators.