|Area||Corporate Finance and Securities|
Article originally published in the Canadian Lawyer Magazine, November 2017
Excerpt from "Cryptocurrent events":
Cryptocurrency offerings have quickly become a significant source of funding for early-stage technology companies, outstripping traditional forms of venture capital financing. This growth has been fuelled, at least in part, by the absence of regulatory oversight. Until recently, businesses selling cryptocurrencies appear to have generally proceeded on the basis that the coins or tokens they are distributing are not securities (being more in the nature of prepayments for services to be offered by the businesses) and, therefore, not subject to traditional securities law requirements (which impose time and cost on offerings). Initial coin offerings can, if unregulated, be completed quickly over the internet, with minimal documentation and without providing any meaningful rights or ongoing disclosure to purchasers. For example, the former CEO of Mozilla reportedly raised US$35 million via an ICO to fund development of a new web browser in less than 30 seconds.