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Frequently Asked Questions

About ICOs and STOs

Q: What is an ICO?
ICO stands for “Initial Coin Offering,” and refers to the creation and sale of digital tokens. In an ICO, a project creates a certain number of digital tokens and sells them to the public, usually in exchange for other cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or ether. The tokens are usually intended to perform a function, give access to, or facilitate trade in a digital environment.
Q: What is an STO?
STO stands for “Security Token Offering” and refers to a regulated offering that uses a token to represent a security issued by a company, usually representing either debt, royalties, revenue share, or equity. Currently, STOs are commonly issued using prospectus exemptions for securities such as Reg A +, Reg D 506(c), or European Growth Prospectus, Private Placement, or an Offering Memorandum however it is likely that full prospectus STOs will be the norm as the industry matures.
Q: What is a security token?
Security tokens function in a similar way to a traditional security, in that each token represents a specific stake in the issuing company.
Q: What is the difference between a 'Security Token' and a 'Utility Token'?
A security token represents an investment contract, whereas a utility token offers incentives, such as early access to products, early discounts, or special features. The three types of security tokens are debt, equity, or derivative. With the advent of blockchain tech, some of the features between utility and security tokens are being combined to create what’s called a hybrid token.

About iComplyICO Platform

Q: Who is iComply?

iComply is a Canadian company with headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia. We specialize in multi-jurisdictional compliance automation for digital finance and crypto-assets. Unlike traditional compliance, risk, and financial intelligence vendors we have built an end-to-end stack to handle the specific compliance and risk management concerns related to crypto. We serve exchanges, wallets, security token platforms, token issuers, and regulators on a global basis. 

Q: What is iComplyICO?

iComplyICO is an end-to-end compliance management platform that incorporates full KYC, KYB, and KYT as well as offers free audited Ethereum smart contracts to issue any number of ICOs or STOs. Compliance and risk management tools are critical when issuing a token if you want liquidity or participation from institutional investors. iComplyICO is able to manage compliance for both the token issuance and the ongoing record-keeping and reporting requirements to the standards of existing securities and ICO regulations for over 150 countries.

iComplyICO is available as a whitelabel solution to regulated security token platforms. We are actively seeking security token platforms from countries around the world who want to partner with us to serve their local market. 

Q: Who holds the data after my token sale?
Most of the transaction data is stored directly on the blockchain you issue the token on, for now, that means only Ethereum. All investor and corporate data is held in accordance with data protection regulations such as GDPR and PIPEDA. You can read more in our Data Protection Agreement.
Q: Who holds investors’ data for my token sale?
We do, and we are GDPR compliant.
Q: How often do I have to check that investors are still verified?
At least once a year, or when situations such as expired ID documents or anti-money laundering (AML) thresholds are exceeded in any transaction or group of transactions. Don’t worry, we have automated this for you. Accredited investors are required to be re-screened/re-verified every three months.
Q: Do you create a wallet for me?
No, users are free to use their own wallet(s) when setting up their account on the iComplyICO platform. There are a number of wallet creation sites that you can use to create an Ethereum wallet.
Q: What types of currencies are accepted through your platform?
Our platform enables users to accept investment in ether through the Ethereum platform. We currently do not accept fiat currencies or other cryptocurrencies through our platform.
Q: Do you have a timeline / deadline / date for when you plan to accept other cryptocurrencies?
We are continually evaluating options that may enhance user experience and efficiency.
Q: How can we exchange ether into fiat once our token sale is finished?
We have relationships with a number of partners who can do this for you, available to our clients as part of our Global Gateway network of qualified service providers. If you prefer to handle this yourself, there are multiple exchanges or DEXs on the market that will convert for you.
Q: What is MetaMask?
MetaMask is an extension on Chrome, Firefox, or Opera that allows you to interface with Ethereum directly from your browser. It is currently the most popular Ethereum wallet in the world. It allows users to run decentralized applications (dApps) on the browser directly, with no need to run a full Ethereum node. This allows MetaMask to act as a type of bridge between the blockchain and Chrome browser since all programs that run on top of the blockchain need to have access to it.

If you use the Brave browser, MetaMask comes pre-installed. (Not yet enabled for mobile).

Q: Are there other options aside from MetaMask?
Ledger and Trezor, or MyEtherWallet are other popular options available for wallet users. The iComply wallet currently supports any standard Ethereum wallet.
Q: What is the minimum number of investors I need to have in my token sale?
This varies case by case. This will be up to you as the issuer.
Q: How many countries/jurisdictions am I able to accept investors from for my token sale?
Currently, our KYC product covers over 150 jurisdictions across the globe. However, you will need to determine the legality of your offering in those jurisdictions, if you do not already have a lawyer for a specific jurisdiction you can access one in our platform through Global Gateway, a free directory of qualified service providers.
Q: What are the global minimum requirements for KYC?
Minimum requirements for KYC vary by jurisdiction and on the classification of your offering. iComply automates these variables for you, based on the local jurisdiction of where your investor is.
Q: How long does it take to onboard an investor?
On average, it should take an investor 2-3 minutes to enter their information into the registration page and to upload both their selfie and a picture of their preferred ID document.

Our system takes approximately 15-20 seconds to compare the information gathered from their registration to the information shown on their ID, as well as match their selfie to their ID picture.

It takes a few additional minutes for investors to add their wallet before we run blockchain forensics on it to meet anti-money laundering, anti-terrorist financing, and securities regulation requirements.

Corporate entity verification, a.k.a. KYB, as well as Accredited Investor or Qualified Investment Buyer (QIB) certifications are typically completed within 48 hours depending on the country and complexity of the screening required.

Q: Are investors manually reviewed and approved when they upload their ID or is it automatically done through your platform?
Investors are screened automatically through our KYC product, where their information is checked according to the specific best practice standards of their local jurisdiction for over 150 jurisdictions globally.
Q: What is Whitelisting / Greylisting / Blacklisting?
Whitelisted investors are those who have no flags or suspicious activity on their wallets or ID checks.

Greylisted investors are those who have a number of flags on either themselves or their wallets; these investors can be pulled back and manually verified or denied depending on the information found in our KYC process.

Blacklisted investors are completely blocked from investing in any reputable ICO or STO, based on fraudulent, illegal, or suspicious activity through any number of global watchlists or blockchain forensics.

Some platforms that use an on-chain whitelist for secondary trade management, this does not meet your compliance requirements in almost every use case. Instead, the iComply platform uses the whitelist, greylist, and blacklist contracts as a cost reduction strategy for crowdsale and secondary trade. Once the transaction passes through these lists it is then processed by iComply’s Prefacto compliance protocol. You can manage your Prefacto trade requirments right for your token compliance dashboard.

Q: Where can I get smart contracts for my ICO/STO?

Your subscription to our iComplyICO product includes free, audited smart contracts for you to use and implement into your token sale. All smart contracts are fully audited by an independent third party. We currently offer a dozen variations to match your needs – from a standard ERC20 utility token to switchable, equity, securities, non-fungible, or stable-coin contracts.

You can also get full cyber security, E&OE, and general liability insurance up to $5M on any of the audited smart contracts models we have available – let us know if you require this for your token as this will extend the timeline and increase the cost of your token issuance. 

You can also bring in your own smart contracts, or use the token standards from other platforms such as ERC1404, ST20, R-Token, and S3. However, you will be required to pay for an end-to-end cyber security audit by an independent third party prior to launching your token. If you would like an introduction to one of our smart contract auditing or insurance partners for your own contracts please let us know and we can direct you to one of our qualified Global Gateway partners. 

Q: Why are audited Smart Contracts so important?

Having audited smart contracts readily available saves you from having to do them yourself and subsequently have them audited by a third party. Using iComply, you’ll benefit from a savings of over $15,000-40,000 USD and weeks to months of contract iteration. You won’t need to create, code, audit, manage these contracts yourself, you simply deploy anchor the token to our compliance protocol and deploy it to Ethereum through your preferred channels such as Remix.

Q: What timeline can I expect to go live with the iComplyICO platform?

Currently, we suggest a 4-8 week implementation timeline from the date that you sign up through our platform to the date you are ready to go live with your token sale. This is valuable because your team will want to run a test token issuance on Rinkeby before you go live so your legal, assurance, advisors, and in some cases regulators, can verify the complaince protocols are meeting the needs of your use case and the standards of the jurisdictions you plan to onboard investors from. 

Q: What is included in a 4-8 week implementation?

Through our experience working with ICO and STO issuers around the world, we have seen many issues arise during your tax, legal, and marketing your offering. We have found that shceduling three separate implementation calls with your team helps to ensure your compliance and technology are in line across your business, technical, and advisory teams.

Q: I need to go live asap. Can I rush my implementation?

Due to the hundreds of ICO and STO issuers we have in various stages of deployment we need time to scheudle your implementation plan and review your account configuration before going live. If you need to go live in under 4 weeks we can prioritize this for an additional $6,000 USD rush fee. However, even with the rush, we find that it is often bring your team, legal, and marketing together that takes the time. Because of this, if you request a rush and need to push back your timeline for any reason the rush fee is non-refundable.

Compliance automation for regulated digital assets