(Yicai Global) Sept. 6 -- Depending on the facts and circumstances of an initial coin offering (ICO), digital tokens sold or put on the market in Hong Kong may be 'securities' as defined in the Securities and Futures Ordinance and subject to the city's relevant laws, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said online yesterday.
Digital tokens in an ICO may be regarded as shares, debentures or interests in a collective investment scheme, all of which are viewed as securities, the SFC said.
The issuance of digital tokens in an ICO may constitute a 'regulated activity' if they fall under the definition of securities. Under Hong Kong regulations, individuals or institutions engaging in a regulated activity are required to be licensed by or registered with the SFC irrespective of whether they are located in Hong Kong as long as their business activities target the Hong Kong public, the regulator said.
The People's Bank of China said Monday that ICOs are a form of illegal fundraising and announced a ban on them with immediate effect.