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Adapting IOSCO Principles to Digital Assets Markets

IOSCO | Nov 2, 2022

applying IOSCO principles to digital assets Singapore fintech festival 2022 - Adapting IOSCO Principles to Digital Assets MarketsThe International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published a speech by Tuang Lee, Chair of IOSCO Fintech Task Force, on applying and adapting IOSCO principles to digital asset markets.

  • Digital assets:  These refer to anything of value whose ownership is represented in a digital or computerised form, through a process called tokenisation. Broadly speaking, digital assets can refer to anything, including real assets like artwork and property, but today our primary focus is on crypto-assets and DeFi.
  • International scrutiny:  On a global level, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) are calling for more regulation of this sector. The FSB recently published, on 11 October 2022, two consultation papers on the international regulation, supervision and oversight of crypto-assets activities and markets – from a financial stability perspective.

See:  Global Securities Wathdog IOSCO to Target Crypto Platforms

  • IOSCO Fintech task force: As the global standard setter for the international capital markets, IOSCO sets the core Objectives and Principles,1 along with supporting recommendations and guidance, on how to regulate capital markets activities and associated risks (together, IOSCO’s principles). Our members adopt these principles, distilling them into detailed regulations domestically.
    • IOSCO has the mandate and a clear  roadmap to explore investor protection and market integrity issues in financial markets.
    • We have established two workstreams under our roadmap. The first on “Crypto and Digital Assets” is led by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (UK FCA). The second, covering “DeFi Products and Services” is led by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC).

  • Examples of key risks:
    • We are seeing many instances of market manipulation, wash trading and insider trading. For instance, a platform employee may be aware of the potential listing of a certain coin and may use the information to invest in the coin and make a quick profit.
    • Another key risk concerns conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest are particularly egregious in the context of crypto-asset service providers. Many of these so-called exchanges perform multiple roles that give rise to conflicts of interest. For example, trading platforms often provide brokerage services, custody and proprietary trading under a single roof – they also engage in the issuance of tokens, lending activities and complex re-hypothecation arrangements with client assets.

See:  CPMI and IOSCO publish final guidance for stablecoins

  • Like my last example on insider trading, there are existing IOSCO principles that already apply. The challenge is in determining the right level of guidance to provide. For instance, whether platforms should continue to be able to perform their own proprietary trading. Some jurisdictions have already proposed to disallow this. In addition, should platforms be allowed to list tokens which they have active interest in, and if so, what they need to disclose to users of their platforms?

Download a PDF copy of the Speech --> here

NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Adapting IOSCO Principles to Digital Assets MarketsThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:

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