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Distributed Ledger Technology and Digital Assets: Policy and Regulatory Challenges in Asia

Distributed Ledger Technology and Digital Assets: Policy and Regulatory Challenges in Asia

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Distributed Ledger Technology and Digital Assets: Policy and Regulatory Challenges in Asia

142 Seiten
1 Stunde
Jun 1, 2019


This report offers an analytical framework that allows for more systemic assessments of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and its applications. It examines the evolution and typology of the emergent technology, its existing and projected applications, and regulatory and policy issues that they entail. This report highlights the trends, concerns, and potential opportunities of DLTs, especially for Asian markets. It also identifies the benefits and risks to using DLT and offers a functional and proportional approach to these issues.
Jun 1, 2019

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Distributed Ledger Technology and Digital Assets - Asian Development Bank



JUNE 2019

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 IGO license (CC BY 3.0 IGO)

© 2019 Asian Development Bank

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Tel +63 2 632 4444; Fax +63 2 636 2444

Some rights reserved. Published in 2019.

ISBN 978-92-9261-646-5 (print), 978-92-9261-647-2 (electronic)

Publication Stock No. TCS190205-2


The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) or its Board of Governors or the governments they represent.

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Cover design by Mike Cortes.


Tables, Figures, and Box


Distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain, and their headline-catching applications in cryptoassets and initial coin offerings (ICOs), have attracted extraordinary global attention. Alongside Bitcoin’s spectacular rise and fall in the past few years, there has been an explosion of ICOs, a tokenization of assets, and fund-raising projects utilizing digital tokens issued and operated on blockchains.

Asia has taken a leading role in many aspects of these phenomena, from blockchain development and cryptoasset investment, mining and trading, to launching and participating in ICOs. At the same time, an increasing range of jurisdictions in the region have become concerned about risks, particularly from nonsovereign cryptoassets and ICOs.

Yet, widespread misunderstanding in scholarly literature and the media of many aspects of these technological developments raises a number of unanswered questions. For example, what are the differences and links between DLT, blockchain, cryptoassets, and ICOs, and what are the current regulatory practices and challenges related to these new technologies?

This report offers a new analytical framework to help policymakers review and assess opportunities and challenges associated with DLT and blockchain for the financial services industry. With this framework, the report explains and defines the related concepts of cryptoassets and ICOs and seeks to clearly delineate the differences between each and bring much needed clarity to how to regulate them. This report also aims to illuminate the trends, concerns, and potential opportunities of DLT, especially for Asian markets, arguing that a proportionate, functionally focused approach is necessary to balance potential benefits with new risks.

This report offers basic guidelines for FinTech regulatory development. I believe it will be a useful resource to support financial inclusion in Asia and the Pacific by enhancing understanding of the benefits and limitationss of potential policies and regulations.

Yasuyuki Sawada

Chief Economist and Director General

Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department

Asian Development Bank


The report was

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