Legal Challenges of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO)
Revue Trimestrielle de Droit Financier (RTDF), n° 3, 2017, pp. 54-65
12 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2017 Last revised: 19 Dec 2017
Date Written: November 2, 2017
Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) – a term intentionally mirroring Initial Public Offerings (IPO) – seem to be the new hype of the virtual currency community leading to an all-time high of the bitcoin of almost 5,000$ this year1. There is indeed a frenzy developing around ICOs reaching a record high of $1.7 billion in 20172 sparking an increasing interest from regulators on the American and Asian continents. Thus, ICOs have become a venture capital-raising tool for start-ups developing projects and applications on the blockchain and trying to escape the constraints of regulation.
Regulation however seems to chatch up with ICOs. This paper analyzes ICOs from a legal perspective with a particular focus on European and French law.
Keywords: ICO, Initial Coin offering, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Ether, Ethereum, The DAO, tokens, virtual currencies
JEL Classification: K22, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation