An initial coin offering in Poland is used to raise capital for a particular venture. The money is raised via an open call to the public, through cryptocurrencies offered in exchange for tokens that allow the pledger to enjoy exclusive rights or rewards.
The ICO is the equivalent of the IPO, the initial public offering.
An initial coin offering in Poland is not currently regulated, however, the authorities have expressed their opinion regarding the use of virtual currencies.
As blockchain technology evolves, it is expected that a more comprehensive regulation of ICOs and cryptocurrencies will enter into force.
Our team of agents specializing in company formation in Poland list the main regulatory provisions below, as well as the conditions for the ICO and for opening a company in this field.
The treatment of cryptocurrencies in Poland
In 2017, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) issued a joint statement on cryptocurrencies stating that:
- - Virtual currencies are not issued or guaranteed by the central bank;
- - They are not money, are not legal tender or currency;
- - Cannot be used to pay tax liabilities and they are not acceptable in shopping or service points;
- - Are not electronic money and not payment services in legal terms; they are not financial instruments.
Additionally, the authorities have highlighted the fact that, although the trading of virtual currency is not illegal, it is subject to different kinds of risk.
, a Polish bank, used the public Ethereum blockchain technology for a document authentication feature.
A banking license is not required for the purpose of organizing an initial coin offering in Poland, nor for mining or trading cryptocurrencies.
ICO regulatory matters
Presently, there are no stringent regulatory provisions for the treatment of an initial coin offering in Poland.
Companies that organize ICOs are required to observe basic issues such as anti-money laundering provisions.
Our experts in company formation in Poland list some of the most important laws that can be used to govern ICOs and cryptocurrency activities in general:
- - Anti-money laundering rules: the fourth Money Laundering Directive has extended its scope to include digital currencies, as well as the monitoring of businesses involved in this field;
- - Payment services directive: presently, the Financial Supervisory Authority considers that tokens fall outside the scope of payment service regulations;
- - Electronic Money Institutions Directive: principles related to the safeguarding of funds received in exchange for electronic money;
- - Securities Law: applicable to the extend in which tokens can be considered securities, their trading is regulated; the trading and mining of virtual currencies is an official economic activity.
Please keep in mind that the list above only briefly highlights the regulations applicable to cryptocurrency companies and those who organize an initial coin offering in Poland.
The Polish national law is harmonized with the EU law and it does not conflict with the standards imposed by the latter. Local laws in Poland may impose additional requirements to those enforced through EU applicable standards.
Having expressed their strong opinion on the use of virtual currencies, the authorities are expected to update the regulatory principles.
Our team can give you more details on the taxation of profits from cryptocurrency activities, as well as other matters concerning their mining.
According to the Financial Times, Poland was one of the most prominent crypto and ICO markets in Europe in 2017:
- - Poland: raised $45 million from ICOs between January and October 2017;
- - Switzerland: raised $550 million during the same period of time;
- - The United Kingdom: raised $67 million, and was followed by Estonia, with 63 million.
If you would like to know more about the treatment of ICOs in Poland
, as well as other issues concerning cryptocurrency companies, please contact our team