Central bank wants to use ‘regulatory sandbox’ in backing ‘good’ ICOs
Singapore’s central bank is “very keen’’ to facilitate fundraising through “good” initial coin offerings rather than following other Asian regulators and ban such activity. Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, told the Financial Times it wanted to use its “regulatory sandbox” approach — created to experiment with financial innovations in a controlled environment with regulatory reliefs for a limited period of time — as a testing ground for good ICOs. Coin offerings use cryptocurrencies to raise funds for valuable fintech projects, which can attract money from investors in as little as half an hour by using blockchain technology. That makes them faster and cheaper than traditional bank-led initial public offerings. But there are dangers, prompting China and South Korea to ban the practice in recent months. Through an ICO, investors usually gain ownership of cryptocurrency, whose value may rise or fall, rather than shares or voting rights in the company. Investors often have no protection from regulators.
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