German Financial Regulator Issues Paper on Blockchain Securities Regulation
The German Federal Ministry of Finance has published a key issues paper on the treatment and regulation of blockchain-based securities, according to a ministry announcement on March 8.
In the paper initially released on March 7, the regulator discusses the introduction of regulations for electronic securities and the issuance of crypto tokens. The document stipulates that the regulation of electronic securities should be technology-neutral, which means that they could be based on blockchain, or distributed ledger technology (DLT).
The issuance of crypto tokens purportedly will not be subject to existing market regulations since crypto tokens do not represent securities, investment or other financial instruments according to the Securities Trading Act. However, initial coin offering (ICO) of crypto tokens is put up for discussion in the paper as investing in crypto tokens purportedly poses risks for investors.
The announcements reads that, before proposing a draft bill on the subject, the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and the Federal Ministry of Finance should come up with a comprehensive picture of the measures outlined in the key issues paper. The measures purportedly aim to strengthen the role of Germany as one of the leading fintech countries.
Recently, the chief executive body of the German government, the Cabinet of Germany, revealed that the country’s blockchain strategy will be introduced by mid-2019. The Cabinet stated that they will undergo an online consultation process prior to introducing the blockchain strategy. The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy are reportedly preparing the strategy, with the expectation that other relevant ministries will contribute at a later time.
Earlier today, Cointelegraph reported that Germany’s justice and finance ministries proposed to launch a state-run register to boost the use of blockchain to regulate the sector and protect investors from possible abuses. The guidelines also propose easing existing requirements, which assume that financial instruments must have tangible counterparts that can be purchased by investors.