Lex Mundi, a network of 160 leading law firms across the globe, has surveyed its member firms to create the Global Token Sales Guide. This tool is the first of its kind and facilitates comparisons of key legislation across jurisdictions that apply to initial coin offerings (ICOs), also referred to as token offerings or token sales. Morrison & Foerster contributed for the U.S. and the U.K. See the related Lex Mundi press release.
“As the adoption of blockchain technology becomes a worldwide phenomenon potentially heading towards mass adoption, regulators across the globe have sprung into action to clarify the application of existing laws to blockchain-related issues while responding to fraud and market manipulation,” said Spencer D. Klein, a partner in the Corporate Department and co-chair of the firm’s global Mergers + Acquisitions Group and head of the Corporate Department in New York. “In the same vein, as token offerings are disrupting the way tech start-ups raise capital, it is not surprising that regulators are monitoring all market participants, and, conceivably, pondering whether further ICO-specific regulation is warranted.”
MoFo Blockchain + Smart Contracts Group co-chair F. Dario de Martino added, “Since blockchain tokens are not a homogeneous asset class—they may feature characteristics of securities, commodities, currency units, or a combination thereof—and affect markets that span national borders, there is a significant amount of uncertainty and a critical need for legal experts to offer unequivocal advice. We commend Lex Mundi’s initiative to bring together some of the world’s most prominent law firms and draw on the expertise of their respective blockchain experts to create a global token sales guide.”
Mr. Klein noted, “As the blockchain industry matures, and our regulatory and policy infrastructures adapt, Lex Mundi’s stewardship of this global resource is crucial and will help market participants ensure compliance with all applicable laws and therefore continue to drive innovation for years to come.”
Other member firms of Lex Mundi that contributed to the Global Token Sales Guide include Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, (the Lex Mundi member firm for Canada), COBALT, (the Lex Mundi member firm for Estonia), Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I., the (Lex Mundi member firm for France), Mourant Ozannes, (the Lex Mundi member firm for Guernsey), Arthur Cox, (the Lex Mundi member firm for Ireland), Chiomenti, (the Lex Mundi member firm for Italy), Mourant Ozannes, (the Lex Mundi member firm for Jersey), GANADO Advocates, (the Lex Mundi member firm for Malta), Houthoff, (the Lex Mundi member firm for the Netherlands), Wardyński & Partners, (the Lex Mundi member firm for Poland), Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners, (the Lex Mundi member firm for Russia), Pestalozzi, (the Lex Mundi member firm Switzerland), S. Horowitz & Co., (the Lex Mundi member firm for Israel), Bowmans, (the Lex Mundi member firm for South Africa), Deacons, (the Lex Mundi member firm for Hong Kong), Nishimura & Asahi, (the Lex Mundi member firm for Japan), Lee & Ko, (the Lex Mundi member firm for Korea), and Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, (the Lex Mundi member firm for Singapore).