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Fintech Market Overview

This article does not constitute legal advice.

Digital assets in Austria

Fintech Software

Some typical activities of fintechs have the potential to be licensed or otherwise regulated services: (1) internet platforms or app solutions that offer trading venues for tokens or placement services for tokens, in particular security tokens; (2) initial coin offering (ICOs), initial token offerings (ITOs) or initial exchange offerings; (3) crypto miners in certain circumstances where money is collected from the market; or (4) setting up an investment management company or automated digital advisory company.1

Legal requirements for digital marketplaces will depend on the assets that are traded or offered via these marketplaces: where securities are offered and traded, a marketplace could – depending on the exact services offered – qualify as either a stock exchange, multilateral trading facility (MTF) or organised trading facility (OTF). To operate a stock exchange, MTF or OTF, the operator must be licensed. In addition, participating in underwriting third-party securities issues as well as related services (third-party securities underwriting business) is subject to a banking licence under the Austrian Bank Act. Where only investments are offered or traded, a regulated trade licence may be required.1

In terms of ICOs and cryptocurrencies, a platform will be subject to the above requirements where the coins or tokens are qualified as investment or security. Trading platforms for genuine cryptocurrencies – such as Bitcoin and Ether, which do not have an issuer that is collecting money from the public – will usually require no financial services licence but may require a free trading licence.1

Crowdfunding platforms can be subject to the above licensing requirements, depending on their exact business and services offered. To avoid licensing requirements, platforms in Austria have taken different approaches – some do not include securities (including security tokens), while others limit the services so that in fact no licensed service is provided. Often, these platforms are reduced to mere marketing platforms but operators refrain from offering trading (selling or purchasing) securities and tokens or placement of these instruments.1

Smart contracts in Austria

Fintech in Austria

Fintech in other countries

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Austrian Fintech Lawyers

Viacheslav Losev

Viacheslav Losev

Legal support for FinTech and Blockchain projects

Kristina Berkes

Kristina Berkes

Participation as a lawyer at investment venture funds, leading venture M&A deals in IT, supporting iGaming and business assets

Denis Polyakov

Denis Polyakov

Comprehensive legal services for businesses on corporate, tax law, cryptocurrency legislation, investment activities

Notes
  1. https://thelawreviews.co.uk/title/the-financial-technology-law-review/austria
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