The Central Bank of Lithuania launched an investigation into ICO, which, according to representatives of the Bank, violated the country’s laws on securities.
According to a statement from 15 February, the Bank of Lithuania has initiated an investigation into blockchain startups in financial services Bankera, whose ICO with the launch in November, reportedly has gathered more than 108 million euros (~$133 million).
Bankera, whose slogan is “banking for the era of the blockchain”, intends to obtain a banking license and to offer traditional financial services, although with the full support of cryptocurrency. Investors who have contributed to ICO, will receive tokens Bankera (BNK), which give holders the right to receive shares of the company’s net income from transactions paid weekly via smart contract.
Lithuanian regulators have said that the Bankera conducting an unregistered offering of securities.
“According to the position approved by the Bank of Lithuania, in cases when distributed cryptocurrency tokens have attributes of securities, they are subject to the requirements of the securities Act, including the provisions on advertising. Violation of requirements can result in fines or other sanctions,“—said Vaidotas sea Bass (Vaidotas Cibas), head of supervision Division of market regulation of the Bank of Lithuania.
Although unknown, was taken by the Bank in any action against ICO or its operators, according to the statement, it was clear that regulators have the right to do so in the future. Noting that several sites are touting ICO Bankera, the Central Bank also warned that the country’s laws on advertising prohibit the advertising of illegal activities.
Lithuania in October published a recommendation on ICO, a few weeks before Bankera has started selling tokens. The recommendations stated that the ICO are regulated under existing securities laws and crowdfunding, and that the authorities will assess them on an individual basis.
At the same time, regulators reminded banks that cryptocurrencies — tools “high risk” and that the Central Bank has forbidden financial institutions to deal with them. This is remarkable given that services the cryptocurrency users — the main component of the business model Bankera.