France’s financial markets regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), has published a report examining trends relating to initial coin offerings. The AMF describes ICOs as a “marginal” method of financing, estimating that the global ICO industry has raised €19.4 billion ($21.9 billion) since 2014.
Significant Centralization of Capital
The AMF report notes an “acceleration” in ICOs over the last two years. It estimates that €5.6 billion ($6.3 million) was raised via ICOs in 2017, equating to 1.6 percent of global equity financing for that year. Throughout 2018, the regulator estimates that ICOs have raised €13.4 billion ($15.1 billion) so far, accounting for 69 percent of the total raised by all ICOs since 2014.
The AMF report also points to a significant centralization of capital within the ICO sector. It estimates that just 17 ICOs have raised approximately 40 percent of the total sum generated by the industry thus far.
French ICOs Grab ‘Modest Share’ of Global Sector
The AMF describes French ICOs as “accounting for a modest share of this new type of financing.” The report estimates that a total of 15 ICOs have collectively raised €89 million ($100.5 million), meaning that French token sales have represented just 0.46 percent of the total sum raised by the global ICO industry.
While the majority of ICOs have focused on “blockchain or trading applications,” the AMF believes that projects are now increasingly “diversifying into other sectors.” It also notes that “most of the upcoming ICO projects” have previously raised financing through “traditional funding channels.” In addition, the AMF reports that the majority of ICOs thus far have taken place in the United States.
AMF Advocates International Regulatory Cooperation
The AMF argues that the key “success factors of an ICO” include the need for robust and transparent anti-money laundering procedures. The report also emphasizes the need for “appropriate regulation” to guide the ICO industry. The AMF claims that “given the cross-border nature of these projects, the diversity of regulatory approaches at the international level is a point of vigilance.” It adds that “in this context, international and European cooperation is essential” in the identification of fraud and the development of coherent regulatory frameworks.
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