Spain’s National Securities Market Commission (abbreviated as CNMV) announced its decision to update some of the current regulations in that country, in order to establish better supervision criteria in the cryptocurrency sector, and institute that investment services entities will be in charge of validating and overseeing initial coin offerings (ICOs), in general.
On July 6, 2018, CNMV’s Chairman Sebastian Albella, indicated via an official statement, a modification to the regulatory framework regarding transactions with cryptocurrencies in the Iberian country, consisting in supervision and validation “in a general manner” of investors offers, and the procedure for listing cryptocurrencies by an authorized entity to provide investment services.
In order to implement this new policy, the CNMV stipulates that said entity should be able to ensure the information provided by issuers to be clear, impartial and honest. Among the data to be verified from now on, it stands out the characteristics and risks of issued securities, as well as the legal and economic-financial situation of the issuer in a fully detailed manner, so to inspire in investors the security that their decision of investment was well-founded.
In general, these type of operations has a volume well below the IPO or traditional capital increases, hence it is necessary – in his opinion – a supervision that offers peace of mind to investors.
Albella’s statement also mentions certain regulations that will govern the constitution of cryptocurrency trading platforms (also known as ‘exchanges’), where these type of transactions with digital currencies are carried out, suggesting “the voluntary application of the principles of securities market regulations relating the matters indicated in order to ensure the proper functioning of its activity.”
At the same time, he considers that exchanges should be subject to the rules of custody or registration, management of conflicts between clients, and transparency when it comes to commission rates, in addition to anti-money laundering policy, so to guarantee everything is working correctly.
These new considerations have been debated and studied by the CNMV throughout this 2018, since in January, several fintech startups have been commenting on ICOs in Q&A documents, specifically referring to the fact that no cryptocurrency or ICO have been registered, authorized or verified by any of the watchdogs in Spain.
This way, Albella dispels the doubts surrounding the scope with which an authorized entity should intervene to provide investment services in certain offers addressed to the general public, using any form of advertising communication.