ICO 2020: Should there be an alternative regulatory framework for ICOs?

Will ICOs flourish in the current regulatory landscape or should an alternative framework be developed?
In 2013, Mastercoin created the first public token sale, commonly now known as an ICO (Initial Coin Offering). It was to raise funds for its project and raise funds, it did! Delivering millions of dollars worth of bitcoin in the first hour, its success inspired projects around the world to use this model for capital raising. In the first quarter of 2018, $6.3 billion USD was raised, which was more than the amount raised in the entire year of 2017.

This boom has ignited governments around the world to take notice and develop frameworks around this type of investment. ICOs have been criticised because of the fraudulent behaviour of some and because investors do not have the right protection. Regulatory guidelines are inconsistent between countries with nations such as China and South Korea banning ICOs completely.

Here in Australia, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has issued an information sheet for ICOs but is it adequate and fair? Does it allow for the innovation of this new financial model and provide protection of investors?

Join us at the Intersekt Festival for a thrilling discussion with blockchain experts on how they envision ICOs in 2020. John Bassilios of Hall & Wilcox will present on the current landscape and then a panel (including Nick Giurietto from the Australian Digital Commerce Association) will provide their insights. You will hear from representatives that have expertise in working with ICOs and the current regulatory framework and panellists that have completed ICOs.


John Bassilios, Hall & Wilcox

John has broad experiences in financial services, funds management, blockchain, corporate and commercial law, with a particular emphasis on funds management related matters. He has advised financial services providers on all aspects of managed investments schemes, AFSL and ACL licensing, disclosure requirements, and ongoing compliance with regulatory requirements. More recently John has taken a keen interest in blockchain related matters and gained significant experience advising on, and establishing, crypto currency funds, reviewing Whitepapers for Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) and Securities Token Offerings (STO) and advising on the establishment of cryptocurrency exchanges. John is currently a mentor for the RMIT Blockchain Strategy Course.

Nick Giurietto, Australian Digital Commerce Association

Nick was responsible for the development of the Australian Digital Currency Code of Conduct which establishes best practice standards for digital currency businesses in Australia and has been modeled in other countries. Nick has worked with the Australian Government on issues including the taxation treatment of digital currencies, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing regulations and identifying use cases for deployment of blockchain solutions within government. Nick is a member of the Standards Australia Technical Committee on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Standards and a participant in the International Standards Organisation Study Group on Identity on the Blockchain.

Susan Dart

Susan Dart has over 30 years of experience with software companies starting out as a software engineer and evolving into Executive roles. She spent 17 years in USA including working with Silicon Valley start-ups. Susan’s participated in numerous IPO’s (Initial Public Offerings) for software companies and ICO’s (Initial Coin Offerings) for blockchain start-ups. Currently, Susan consults with companies in assisting them with their blockchain business models and solutions as well as providing ICO advice and mentoring blockchain start-ups. Her Master’s Degree is from Carnegie-Mellon University USA and her Batchelor’s Degree with Distinction is from RMIT. She has two books published along with over 40 papers.

Akasha Indream, IoMob

Engagement Director at IoMob, Co-founder of Blockchain Cities Alliance, Community Ambassador for AllRights, Advisory Board of BLOCK LOAN, and Australian Communications Lead for NEM. Akasha also publishes MissBlockchain and manages Telegram’s largest exclusive community of women in blockchain, WIBI (Women in Blockchain International Impact). She is also involved in the establishment of women’s business networking platform Femergy.

Michael Lebbon, emmi

Michael has over 10 years’ experience in the climate finance and carbon trading industry. Being a CFA® charterholder Michael has been able to combine his financial skills with his passion around action on climate change to use markets and finance to deliver real carbon emission reductions.

Michael has a wealth of knowledge and experience across the climate finance and carbon trading industry, this includes creating and trading the first Australian Carbon Credit Unit under Australia’s Clean Energy Future policy through to helping guide industry led carbon trading policies.

Discussions with various blockchain experts led Michael to realise that central governments were no longer the key to achieving real action on climate change, rather a truly distributed solution was possible. Out of these discussions emmi was born.

Food and Drinks provided

$2 of every ticket sold will go to The Big Umbrella Foundation, an organisation working with those affected by human rights abuses, exploitation, forced labour and homelessness.