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香港:募集资金是VC的事,ICO不应越俎代庖

香港证监会(SFC)负责人在发表有关新兴技术和资产管理的演讲时指出,风投(VC)的募集形式胜过ICO。

SFC执行董事梁凤仪(Julia Leung)同时也是金融科技咨询组织的主席,她在演讲中引用了学者克劳斯·施瓦布(Klaus Schwab)有关于新兴技术创新的观点,称当前正处于“第四次工业革命”时代。Leung表示,作为一个证券监管部门,SFC认为区块链等新兴技术是有益的,但她强调,在采用这项技术的同时还要注意其中存在的一些问题:

虽然我们认可区块链等创新技术具有提高效率和金融包容性的潜力,但这并不意味着所有人都有权利违反证券法私自向公众募集资金。由于某些项目存在较高技术含量,且并不公开透明,普通投资者无法自行辨别,而只有风投这类专业的投资者才适合这项工作。

Leung补充道,事实就是,大部分ICO就算“不是彻头彻尾的骗局,也可以说是非常可疑……由于其跨境交易的特点,ICO能够轻易躲过警方和证券监管部门的审查,另外加密资产自身的架构特点导致其受到现有监管框架的管理”。她说近期韩国和日本加密货币交易所遭到攻击的事件就是对加密货币交易风险的严重警告。

今年2月,香港SFC提醒加密货币投资者注意投资风险并承诺密切监管ICO和加密货币市场。3月,这个证券监管部门下令停止Black Cell Technology的ICO活动,因为这属于未登记的证券售卖行为,SFC要求这家公司将募集到的资金退还给投资者。

至于加密货币监管框架,Leung指出,近期的G20会议谈到了这一议题。香港SFC正在和旗下的投资者教育中心共同努力让加密货币投资者意识到风险,他们还将与海外组织进行金融科技方面的合作。

香港交易所与结算市场(HKEX)上月宣布,他们已经就区块链创新和应用与澳大利亚证券交易所(ASX)展开了对话。同时SFC已经与英国、澳大利亚、马来西亚、迪拜和瑞士签署了金融科技创新协议。

The head of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (Hong Kong SFC) said during a speech on April 13 on “New Technologies and Asset Management” that the type of fundraising conducted through Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) is better suited to venture capital funds.

Julia Leung, who is also the chair of the 2016 established Fintech Advisory Group, described the current era as the “fourth industrial revolution,” citing scholar Klaus Schwab, due to its new technological innovative promise. Leung notes that although the Hong Kong SFC in its role as a securities regulator sees new technologies like Blockchain as beneficial, she underlines that embracing this new technology comes with some important caveats:

“While we acknowledge that innovative technologies such as [B]lockchain have the potential to improve efficiency and financial inclusion, that does not entitle anyone to conduct fundraising from the public in violation of securities law. Because of the highly technical content and opacity of some of these projects, it is hard for an average investor to pick winners, a job more suited for professional investors such as venture capital funds.”

Leung adds the the reality is that many of the ICOs are “dubious, if not downright frauds [...] [that] escape the scrutiny of the police or securities regulators because of their crossborder nature and the way the crypto assets are structured to fall outside any regulator’s perimeter,” mentioning the recent hacking of crypto exchanges in Japan and South Korea as a “sharp reminder of the risks” of crypto trading.

In February of this year, the Hong Kong SFC warned crypto investors about the risks of investment and vowed to keep policing ICOs and crypto markets. In March, the securities regulator shut down Black Cell Technology’s ICO on the ground that it was an unregistered securities offering, making the company return the funds it had raised to investors.

Moving forward with a crypto regulatory framework, Leung notes that the G20 recently spoke about the crypto sphere at their last meeting in March. In terms of Hong Kong specifically, Leung said that the Hong Kong SFC is working with their Investor Education Center to make crypto investors more aware of risks, as well as working with organizations overseas for fintech collaboration.

The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Market (HKEX) announced in March that they would be opening a dialogue with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on Blockchain innovation and implementation. Leung said in the speech that the Hong Kong SFC has also signed fintech innovation agreements with regulatory bodies in the UK, Australia, Malaysia, Dubai, and Switzerland.


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