The Italian Regulatory Approach to Crypto-Assets and the Utility Tokens’ ICOs

26 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2019

See all articles by Paolo Carrière

Paolo Carrière

Bocconi University - Baffi Carefin Centre

Date Written: July 2019


The Italian Stock Exchange Commission (Consob) recently launched a “public consultation” on a Discussion Paper concerning “initial offers and exchanges of crypto-assets”, which outlines an early domestic regulatory approach to ICOs, waiting for a harmonized initiative at EU level. The Commission is inspired by a commendable intent to “facilitate” this new phenomenon – thus, with the aim of avoiding those restrictions and hindrances that characterize Italian legislation today, more than other European or foreign jurisdictions – and, consequently, design a “safe harbour” based on an “opt-in” regime. Considering critically the Paper – although the general approach will appear fully convincing and understandable – certain definitory limits and certain specific regulatory options suggested in it, could result in excluding the possibility to take advantage of the “safe harbour”, for various kind of utility tokens that appear potentially most deserving of the envisaged “favourable” regulatory approach; as such, in a paradoxical and contradictory manner.

Keywords: Crypto-Asset; Cryptocurrencies; ICOs; Tokens; Utility Tokens

Suggested Citation

Carrière, Paolo, The Italian Regulatory Approach to Crypto-Assets and the Utility Tokens’ ICOs (July 2019). BAFFI CAREFIN Centre Research Paper No. 2019-113, Available at SSRN: or

Paolo Carrière (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Baffi Carefin Centre ( email )

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