Unlike the regulators in mainland China, Hong Kong regulators have not banned Initial Coin Offerings, while South Korean authorities claim to tighten control over fundraising platforms through using digital currencies.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a statement mentioning that certain tokens may be described as securities and therefore are subject to the existing laws of Hong Kong.

If tokens issued within an ICO fall under the definition of securities, they should be regulated, and parties involved in such activities and dealing with Hong Kong residents are required to be licensed by or registered with the SFC, irrespective of where they are located, Finance Magnates writes

“We are concerned about an increase in the use of ICOs to raise funds in Hong Kong and elsewhere,” said Ms. Julia Leung, the SFC’s Executive Director of Intermediaries. “Those involved in an ICO need to be aware that some ICO structures may be subject to Hong Kong securities laws.”

The approach of Hong Kong regulators seems to have more in common with the American one, followed by Singapore and Canada. It can be described as if tokens function like securities, they should be subject to securities laws.

South Korean regulators also reportedly took a step to tighten ICO regulation. According to Business Korea, South Korea’s digital currency task force group, comprised of the country’s central bank, the National Tax Service (NTS), Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), Financial Services Commission (FSC), and digital companies, held a joint meeting on 3 September and discussed an increasing interest of public to ICO. The FSC chairman Kim Yong-Beom said:

“We will clearly state the foundations of the Act on the Regulation of Conducting Fund-Raising Business Without Permission for illegal fund-raising impersonating digital currency investment and strengthen levels of punishment.”

It was also mentioned that authorities will “punish” ICO fundraising platforms for violating the capital market act by raising funds through stock issuance using digital currencies, CCN writes.