So far, regulators in most major markets haven’t taken actions as drastic as China, whose ban on ICOs spurred selloffs across bitcoin and ethereum. The U.S. said in July ICO issuers must adhere to federal securities law, while Singapore and Hong Kong have also said they will regulate such sales if the tokens constitute securities. The latter said in a statement on Tuesday that ICOs bear risks of fraud and money laundering.
While the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission declined to bring charges in one high-profile case of digital assets stolen by hackers, it did note that the DAO tokens were securities. Canada published a notice in August with more detailed guidelines on the applicability of securities laws, noting that many cryptocurrency offerings involve sale of securities. As regulators show increased interest in ICOs, some sales have started to exclude investors in certain jurisdictions such as the U.S.