In a market that never sleeps, the crypto-buck stops here; during a State Duma Financial Market Committee meeting, it was proposed that a “crypto-detective agency” be created and tasked with collecting information about companies in Russia that are planning to engage in token offerings (ICOs).
During the meeting, major bank representatives met alongside regulators to discuss legislative measures that might reinforce FinTech, including cryptocurrency regulation. The Russian Internet Development Institute (IRI) works to advance and manage the technology industry within the federation. IRI president Alexei Fyodorov proposed the initiative “to create a specialized crypto-detective agency … to protect investors in cryptocurrencies in Russia,” that would “collect information on Russian companies intending to launch an ICO. Information [would] be stored in a special register.”
Fyodorov went on to detail the necessity for an agency, describing the parameters it would assess for companies using token-based crowdfunding strategies. He said:
“Our agency will be able to extract information about their beneficiaries and their real state of affairs. Is this a startup or an attempt to solve the company’s current problems with the help of the ICO? Our task is to protect investors. When a company that has attracted funds from a large number of people fails, its investors will seek protection from the state.”
Internet ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev agreed there was a necessity to gather this data but claimed that “to force a company to register … is pointless,” going on to say, “Mechanisms for controlling ICOs are needed… but the registers are ineffective.”
Marinichev’s sentiment is shared by Eugene Gordeev, managing partner at Russian Ventures, who believes “any initiative to register companies is not needed by the market.” He said:
“It’s like trying to create an agency that evaluates startups at the seed stage when the project has only an idea and a team. At this stage, the project has a lot of data that cannot be analyzed. But investors, in case of success, will receive a thousand times more than they invested.”