Israel Securities Authority (ISA) Chairmain Shmuel Hauser expressed his concerns regarding Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in a keynote speech at a fintech conference in Tel Aviv.
Per Finance Magnates, Professor Shmuel Hauser opened his speech by asserting the difference between blockchain technology on one side, cryptocurrencies and ICOs on the other.
According to the ISA Chairmain, while blockchain technology is well-founded and “here to stay”, digital coins “smell like a bubble”.
“There’s a difference between blockchain technology in general, and cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Blockchain technology is here to stay and will enter every aspect of our lives. The coins are a totally different game. It smells like a bubble,” Israel Securities Authority (ISA) Chairmain Shmuel Hauser said.
Hauser voiced his concerns over the lack of transparency in the ICO industry, stating that initial coin offerings need to be managed and regulated on a case by case basis.
“We’re going to look at the ICO industry on a case by case basis, not ban it altogether.”
“I’m bothered by the lack of transparency in the ICO industry. I say to the investors – beware! It might be a bubble. And as for us, I say that what is legal now, might be illegal tomorrow. ICOs are a part of a welcomed evolution in the funding industry. But it needs to be properly managed and regulated,” Hauser added.
Earlier this year, ISA put together a special committee that will review the need to regulate cryptocurrencies and ICOs in Israel. The committee has been mandated to:
1. Evaluate the financial essence of ICOs and whether it overlaps with other financial activity under Israeli law;
2. Make a comparative analysis of cryptocurrency regulations in various countries to evaluate the legitimacy of bitcoin;
3. Examine if cryptocurrency trading and ICOs should be watched by the ISA;
4. Devise a new regulatory policy balancing between alternative funding channels and technological innovation while protecting Israeli investors from unsupervised investments;
5. Examine potential collaborations with fellow regulators and with the local blockchain industry;
Israel Securities Authority Chairman voices concerns over ICOs – Image source: Hamodia