The financial regulator of Switzerland has stated that inquiries about Blockchain, Initial coin offerings, and Cryptocurrency have increased significantly this year. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) stated in an annual report published on Tuesday that our of the 453 fintech inquiries it received in 2017 60% of them were asking about either cryptocurrency, blockchain or initial coin offering.
This number has tripled as compared to the data released in 2016 where Blockchain inquiries were about 22% of the total 270 inquiries made that year. The inquiries into Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are increasing despite the Swiss regulator placing the topic under supervisory work. The agency added that questions about ICOs are becoming very frequent.
In a report published by FINMA: “The second half of 2017 was very busy because there were increased inquiries about raising capital through the ICOs.” The regulator has been very busy investigating ICOs which the agency has been suspecting. It already ordered the closure of three companies already because of a reported scam called E-Coin.
In February the regulatory agency also updated its guidelines on the different ways it was going to treat different tokens through ICOs. According to them some tokens qualifies to be treated as securities. They clarified that they would not take tokens as a group but would check tones one by one identifying three main categories which would further clarify the process.
Mark Branson who id the agency’s CEO stated that the agency was confident about the new regulations and guidelines it had put in place. He added that they were currently examining ICOs which have been completed under the new guidelines.
ICOs have had a tough ride with some countries like China banning them. This is because they are often used to defraud unsuspecting investors. The ICOs sector required to be well regulated and monitored to achieve its full potential.