The Italian Consob has launched a public consultation to collect information on ICOs.

This is a Discussion Document dedicated to ICOs and crypto trading, which invites to answer 15 questions and send observations via the Integrated External System (ITS) by May 19th, 2019.

The questions are purely technical, as for example an opinion on the definition of “crypto-activity” provided in the document, and whether it manages to capture the relevant features of crypto-activity.

The questionnaire is therefore addressed to industry experts and the comments received will be made public at the end of the consultation, unless specifically requested for non-disclosure.

Cryptocurrencies are defined as “digital recordings representing rights related to investments in business projects”. Such digital records ‘should be created, stored and transferred by means of technologies based on distributed ledgers, to which, however, it is necessary to link the ability to identify the holder of the rights to the underlying and incorporated investments in the crypto-activity or crypto-asset’.

The highly technical questions indicate, on the one hand, a certain knowledge of the sector and, on the other, an approach that seems to be fairly open to these new developments.

These do not only concern the technical definitions of the basic concepts, but also the platforms for the exchange and distribution of tokens.

For example, question 7 asks: “Does the approach outlined for the execution of offers in the context of new issuance of crypto-assets reconcile the characteristics of the phenomenon with the needs of investor protection”?

Question 8 adds:

“Is it considered appropriate, in the interests of greater investor protection, to establish a close link between the provision of newly-issued crypto-assets through supervised platforms and their subsequent access to a dedicated trading system subject to regulation and supervision?”

Some questions even concern the basic technological infrastructure, such as number 13:

“What features should the blockchain have in order to ensure an adequate level of security of the distributed ledger on which the crypto-activities are recorded and transferred?”

It is not known how much the comments received will be taken into account for any new regulations that may be issued in the future regarding ICOs in Italy, but the fact that the new designated President of Consob is Paolo Savona, who has a good experience in the crypto sector, gives hope that the attitude of the agency towards these innovations remains open as it currently appears.