The world’s largest trade association representing the blockchain industry has released a white paper called ‘Understanding Digital Tokens: Market Overviews & Guidelines for Policymakers and Practitioners‘.
A guide to digital tokens
The Chamber of Digital Commerce (CDC) is based in Washington DC and is a prominent blockchain advocacy group. It is comprised of a number of initiatives that are working to promote multiple facets of the blockchain industry. This includes but is not limited to the Blockchain Intellectual Property Council, the Smart Contracts Alliance and the Token Alliance.
The latter initiative is responsible for publishing the first edition of its collaborative report; the paper offers guidance on how to nurture “responsible growth” of the digital tokens and the initial coin offering (ICO) facets of the nascent industry.
The Token Alliance has over 350 global contributors across multiple sectors, economists, former regulators, blockchain and token experts as well as law practitioners.
The three-part report covers the regulatory environment across five counties including the United Kingdom, with special regards to securities law, which is an especially debated topic in the United States. It also covers utility tokens and the “token economic landscape”.
In the report’s accompanying press release, Paul Atkins, CEO of Patomak Global Partners and former SEC Commissioner said, “These industry-developed principles are an important tool for responsible growth and smart regulation that strikes the right balance between protecting investors while allowing for innovation in this new technological frontier.”
In the paper’s introduction, the exponential growth of industry growth over the past two years has seen blockchain technologies become recognized as a transformative and disruptive force. It must be noted that globally, banks and major financial institutions have begun adopting the technology,
Across these multiple jurisdictions, there is no entirely unified set of regulatory frameworks. Countries such as Malta and Switzerland have already established their own set of laws and legislation offering a crypto-friendly environment for blockchain entrepreneurs.
However, nations such as the US and South Korea appear to be struggling to reach consensus on how to approach virtual tokens and ICOs. The report from the Token Alliance sets out to “open the doors to creative thinking and understanding in the token ecosystem”.
A compendium of legal clarification
Perianne Boring, founder and president of the CDC said to Bitcoin Magazine, “The Chamber of Digital Commerce is advocating for regulatory clarity… “Up until now, there has been an absence of clarity on the regulatory landscape for ICOs and utility tokens.”
She describes the report as containing principles developed by the industry to be the “first set of guidelines for the token industry”. According to her, the purpose of this report is to provide clarity on a “full spectrum of laws” to businesses worldwide who are either already involved with or seeking to enter the industry.
This is the first installment from the CDC and the Token Alliance. The report concludes that in subsequent works, issues such as “utility token” concept promotion, cybersecurity and hybrid tokens could be addressed.
Other entities are also publishing documents pertaining to blockchain information and education. As recently reported, a US-based world-leading IT industry trade association released its guidebook on ‘Harnessing the Blockchain Revolution: CompTIA’s Practical Guide for the Public Sector‘.
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