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Parliamentary questions
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15 November 2017
Question for written answer E-007060-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
Jérôme Lavrilleux (PPE)

 Subject:  Regulation of initial coin offerings
 Answer in writing 

Since 2009, when bitcoins first appeared, the number of crypto-currencies has increased dramatically. These virtual currencies are highly volatile, because they are not regulated by any central authority. In addition to the threats to economic stability posed by this volatility and the speculative nature of virtual currencies, the emergence of potentially fraudulent practices which is worrying. This year, US start-ups have carried out massive initial coin offerings, a procedure which involves generating funds by creating a crypto-currency. According to the Wall Street Journal, almost USD 2.3 billion have been generated in this way. The fact that procedures of this kind are backed by real assets whose value is difficult to determine highlights the considerable potential for fraud. Le Monde has noted that this system could easily degenerate into one based on extortion.

1. Does the Commission have any information about the use of initial coin offerings in the EU?

2. Does it plan to draw up specific rules to govern this practice?

Original language of question: FR 
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