Aussie’s Maiden ICO Unfolds as Policymakers Convene

on Sep 15, 2017
Updated: Mar 11, 2020

Australia’s maiden ICO is starting with a bang. Blockchain energy tech play Power Ledger, which enables peer-to-peer trading of electricity, just finished week one of a three-week token sale of the POWR token. The token sale comes on the heels of a pre-ICO sale in which the company sold 190 million tokens and raised AUD 17 million (USD 15 million) in approximately three days.

The public ICO, which is unfolding now, involves 140 million tokens with an aim to raise a combined USD 30 million (pre-sale + public ICO).

The successful pre-sale speaks to the enthusiasm not only for what Power Ledger is doing with alternative energy on the blockchain but also the opportunity to participate in inital coin offerings. Perhaps this is something that will be reflected in the final crypto policy that Aussie regulators develop.  

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is said to be preparing guiding statements on initial coin offerings, as per With an iron fist on ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges not too far in the rearview mirror, Aussie policymakers have a tough job as industry participants including the first wave of Australian ICOs anxiously await more clarity.

Australia is widely expected to reveal a framework that resembles the approach taken in the United States, reports say. If that’s the case, the Australia is likely to take a middle-of-the-road approach to ICO regulation, at least in comparison to the severe outcome in China. But the United States is still formulating its position, deciding whether cryptocurrencies qualify as securities but monitoring those deals it finds suspicious.  

Based on the SEC’s latest actions, such as monitoring and even suspending some ICOs, Australia regulators may lean toward the treatment of digital tokens as securities, at least in some form, which means that they would be subject to the same or similar requirements.  

The mere fact that Australian regulators aresimilar to policymakers in Thailand) between blocking fraud and embracing new technology.  

The ASIC guidance is expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks. Meantime the size of the ICO market continues to expand, evidenced by USD 1.6 billion raised in the past 12 months alone. 


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