The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published a report analysing the emergence and potential of initial coin offerings (ICOs) as a financing mechanism for start-ups and SMEs, examining the benefits and challenges of this mechanism for small businesses and investors, and discussing the policy implications of ICO activity for the inclusive financing of SMEs and the real economy.

The report concludes that policymakers should:

  • Clarify the regulatory and supervisory framework that applies to ICOs, such as standardised disclosure requirements, enhanced investor protection for retail investors and AML/CFT requirements;
  • Implement a balanced and proportionate approach so as not to deprive the ICO mechanism of its speed and cost benefits; and
  • Promote international cooperation due to the global nature of ICOs issuing and cross-border trading.
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