ICO Code of Conduct

Crypto Valley Association, ICO, TGE, Blockchain

Crypto Valley Association (CVA), the Swiss-based not-for-profit association supporting the development of blockchain and cryptographic related technologies and businesses, announced the launch of a  Code of Conduct  for Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). It is intended that this framework will guide ICOs on proper conduct, taking into account all legal, moral, and security obligations. The ICO Code of Conduct is expected to bring clarity and confidence to the still new, rapidly-growing asset class.

Mission and Policy Framework

(Version: 08 January 2018)

The CVA Policy Framework includes a set of Core Values, a General Code of Conduct (CoC) and a CoC for the creation of Decentralized Ecosystems (DECoC). Its goals are to frame the way Members pursue the Mission, to protect the reputation of the CVA and to create lasting value.

By becoming part of the CVA, each member acknowledges having read and understood the Core Values, the General CoC and the DECoC, and that it will conduct its business consistent with the values and principles outlined therein. The declaration is reaffirmed on an annual basis, complemented by an affirmation that the member did not breach the Codes. Ignorance of the Codes is no excuse in the face of a breach. The Codes are reviewed as needed and members informed accordingly.

1. Mission

Develop the World’s Best Ecosystem for Blockchain and other Distributed Ledger Technologies and Businesses.

2. Core Values


We understand the value of trusted relationships at all levels of the society and the economy, and strive to earn and keep the trust of all those with whom we interact.


We are transparent in our dealings and protect personal privacy. We look for the same in those with whom we work.


We believe in the strength of enthusiastic cooperation and work to foster collaboration within our ecosystem and the wider community.


We are honest in everything we do and take great care to maintain our integrity within our organization and in our dealings with others.

Innovation and Quality

We strive to be innovative in our work and to catalyze and support innovation in our ecosystem and the wider community. We are committed to achieve highest quality.


We ensure the highest security standards in the work we do and carefully identify, assess, mitigate and control technological, business and societal risk.


We believe Blockchain technology should serve a useful and necessary commercial or social purpose.

3. General Code of Conduct (CoC)

A. Business Conduct

Members do their business in a responsible and transparent way, and do not engage in practices which would be potentially or factually damaging to the image and interests of the CVA and the ecosystem. Members adhere at all times to the Codes and, beyond it, to the applicable laws and regulations.

B. Diversity and Inclusion

Members do not discriminate in the work environment based upon race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, or disability.

C. Books and Records

Members ensure adequate and truthful operating and financial accounting as well as a proper system to record their business files. Members notify to the CVA any changes of their address, email, mobile number, domain name.

D. Property Rights

Members respect property rights of others, such as intellectual property rights, brand names or copyrights associated with any crypto valley related business.

E. Governance and Conflicts of Interests

Members implement in their organizations governance policies to ensure proper operation and control and to avoid (potential) situations of conflict of interest.

F. True and Fair Communication

Members commit to full, accurate, timely and understandable communication. In compliance with their confidentiality obligations, members are encouraged to disclose any form of mismanagement, corruption, incident, illegality, wrongdoing and any other serious infringements of the rules in force at the CVA or of national or local laws, to the CVA Board of Directors.

G. Breaches / Disciplinary Action

Members accept that any breach of the Code can result in disciplinary actions, which, depending upon the nature and severity of the breach, include written warnings, information and/or remediation requests, and – in case of serious breaches – expulsion from the CVA. The Members shall always have the right to be heard and costs shall be allocated to the Member depending on the disciplinary action decided.

H. Transactions

Members shall remunerate transactions on an “arm’s length” basis. Hence, any fees, salaries or “cost-plus“ mark-ups shall be comparable with third-party transactions.

4. Decentralised Ecosystem (DE) Code of Conduct (DECoC)

The CVA’s DECoC subjects all members to minimum standards ensuring that the launch and operation of DEs within the CVA comply with the highest level of ledger enforceability, quality of protocols and applications, and compliance to relevant financial market regulations.

A. DE Information

Members inform the community on their web interface, or any other communication channel, in a credible, objective and timely way about their DE and its innovative character, including about its technical features, development and financial plan, implementation timeline, benefits and risks (see below “B”), the management team, their professional background, their role in the DE, and about the legal structure, corporate organization and governance framework, storage and access of crypto assets – as applicable.

B. Risks Assessment and Disclosure

Members undertake, disclose on their web interface, or any other communication channel, and keep updated a full assessment of the risks related to the underlying technology (functionalities, protocols), the storage and access of private keys, the regulatory, compliance (such as KYC, AML risks), market and counterparty risks. The assessment shall be explicit about the mitigation measures implemented or foreseen and shall highlight the residual risk. The members ensure that all community members participating in the DE are fully aware of the risks associated with the specific DE.

C. Contribution and Distribution

  • C1. Pre-Blockchain Deployment Contribution
    Members ensure that the pre-deployment contribution phase unfolds within a (preferably independent) audited corporate and technical structure that grants the highest protection and compliance levels to contributors. No public sale shall be allowed at this stage.
  • C2. Blockchain Deployment and Distribution
    Members ensure that the blockchain deployment and subsequent distribution phase (secondary market) are subject to highly secured, fully compliant and documented, and independently audited technical allocation systems (such as smart contracts). Members shall exercise every effort to comply with the relevant regulations of the jurisdictions in which they actively distribute their DE.
  • C3. Minimum Contribution Disclosure
    Members ensure all time transparency about the functionalities of the token (such as utility features, governance rights, counterparty, output and input functions), applicable regulations, issuance protocol and schedule, pricing mechanism, relevant taxation regime, contributor-based differentiations, sequential implementation of functionalities and listing plans, buy-back programs, existence of floors, envisaged burning and creation policy, treatment of any excess funding, and existence of lock-up periods for funds attributed to management.Members seek direct or indirect regulatory contact as needed to guarantee best possible certainty.

D. Records Management

Members manage, trace and archive all transactions properly and according to prevailing laws and best financial practices. Members shall have a risk based policy in place on the KYC level they implement for the contribution and operation phase. The CVA regards it as best practice to have a minimum KYC procedure (name, address, id-scan, mail and/or mobile no) as well as an information of the source of funds procedure in place.

E. Suitability

Members make sure that the promotion of the DE is fair, clear and not misleading, and are proactive in helping contributors to understand the technology, the risks and rewards in relation to their specific risk appetite.

F. Independent Verification

Further to C, above, members disclose post contribution a comprehensive audit report.

G. Breaches and Disciplinary Action

The provision of Art. G of the CVA CoC applies (see above).

Your team


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