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ICO / token sale
Companies and projects have increasingly relied on the sale of digital assets, or tokens, as a means of fundraising. These tokens generally do not grant the holders an ownership interest in the issuing company or project, but may provide governance rights, access rights or other utility. This has been conducted through public sales known as initial coin offerings (ICOs), proliferation through token generation events (TGEs) or private sales, among other mechanisms.  While showing characteristics of traditional methods of fundraising, there are a range of unanswered questions related to the legal classifications of such products. As ICOs and TGEs will usually be distributed online and internationally, there is usually no single legal framework applying to such transaction, and the legal framework of each market in which the tokens may be offered or sold needs to be considered.


Attitude of the country towards ICOs/token sales

Virtual currencies are getting commonly known and used in Colombia. Existing regulation does not prevent to any Colombian citizen to invest in these virtual currencies but still there are many issues surrounding this new ecosystem which are still uncertain.

Colombian Government stated that it is up to each person to get informed and assume the risks involved in this business.

These types of financial product are not regulated. There are some possible options to address this market by the Financial Superintendence in 2022, but for now they are only a proposal for the future.

Legal affairs

Presence of any explicit regulation on ICOs and the issuance of token/coins

There is no regulation on ICOs and the issuance of crypto currencies in Colombia. 

There are no explicit restrictions on ICOs or the issuance, distributions, and transfer of crypto currencies in Colombia. Yet, crypto currencies are not recognised nor supported by the Colombian State nor are they part of a centralised, controlled or monitored system. In addition, the Colombian Central Bank, as monetary, credit and exchange authority in Colombia, stated the following:

  1. The only monetary unit in Colombia is the Colombian peso (bills and coins) issued by the Colombian Central Bank.
  2. Bitcoin or similar crypto currencies are not legally recognised in Colombia. Therefore, they do not constitute a means of payment of legal tender with unlimited liberating power. There is then no obligation to receive it as a means of compliance with obligations.
  3. Crypto currencies cannot be used for exchange market transactions.

Presence of any explicit restrictions on ICOs or the issuance, distribution and/or transfer of token/coins

There is no specific license in Colombia that will allow an entity to issue an ICO. In any case, please note that an ICO may be considered as a criminal activity. As per Colombian Criminal Code, if a person or entity collects money from the public in a massive and habitual way without the prior authorisation of the competent authority, it will be imprisoned from 120 months to 240 months, and a fine of up to 50,000 Colombian legal monthly minimum wages can be imposed.

Obligations and requirements to issue token/coins

As already mentioned, in Colombia there is still no regulation on this matter. Therefore, the authorities do not require a license to carry out this activity.

Classification of token/coins in the jurisdiction

For the time being, the jurisdiction in Colombia does not recognize this type of product as legal tender.

Presence of a duty to publish a prospectus bevor offering token/coins to investors


Presence of AML/KYC requirements that are needed to be fulfilled regarding (i) the initial issuance of token/coins and (

ii) any following transfer of token/coins to third parties No requirements are enforceable for now in Colombia.

Additional comments regarding (i) the legal situation for ICOs/token/coins and (ii) any following transfer of token/coins to third parties


Economic conditions

Market size for ICOs/token sales and existence of any previous regulated ICO/token sales in the jurisdiction

There is no data on this market in Colombia.

Additional comments regarding the economic situation for ICOs/token sales or what companies must be aware of in this business area




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