South Africa recognizes altcoins as intangible assets. Namibia Allowed The position of the Bank of Nambia is that altcoin exchanges are forbidden and that altcoin cannot be used as payment.
This, however, does not have the force of law. Zimbabwe Allowed The Zimbabwe government has taken no official position on altcoin, despite showing skepticism.
A Gathering Push toward Codifying ICO Status
Altcoins are currently being traded in the country. However, Australia has issued draft laws that would allow the establishment of a regulatory sandbox for FinTech startups that would allow them to operate without being fully licensed.
What Does It All Mean? Be it the continuing international crackdown on malicious or fraudulent ICOs, a nationalistic cornering of the local altcoin market, or recognition of the inherent risk in the turbulent ICO space, most nations and major financial institutions have taken a stance on ICOs and altcoins.
What are altcoins?
These stances range from an official recognition of no interference — as in the case of Ireland, Hungary, and Poland — to open defiance of digital currencies. Oddly, however, there has been an embracing of distributed ledgers, the technology behind altcoins, even if much of the world has strong reservations about its public proof-of-concept.
Many of the nations that have the strongest stance against altcoins are the most optimistic about integrating blockchain into their existing protocols. The idea behind ICOs is that instead of seeking an initial public offering, businesses can seek low amount seed funding without the due diligence, regulatory requirements, time, or fiduciary permissions a traditional IPO would require.
For a small business dealing with untested or unknown technologies, this peer-based alternative offers funding opportunities to businesses otherwise ineligible to traditional funding schemes. This approach, however, can be rife with fraud. China claims that the possibility of scammers using ICOs to defraud investors is the primary reason the nation moved to ban the creation or selling of them in their country. Additionally, if the ICO relates to property transfers or to fiat currencies, these ICOs, in fact, may be dealing with securities.
This has implications on taxation and securities integrity. Most nations that have taken definitive action on altcoins have defined the securities implication of altcoin ownership.