A proposal presented in May by the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology for amendments to the Commercial Companies Code provides for a new type of capital company – Prosta Spółka Akcyjna (PSA). This legislative proposal has been criticised for an excessive amount of regulation and complexity of the provisions, and also has been welcomed for achieving the principal goal of the initiative, which is making the legal environment suitable for start-ups. This article discusses the section of the amendment that deals directly with new technologies.
The high costs of preparing a prospectus and the required intermediation of an investment firm have discouraged many companies from raising financing through a public offering. Given the low threshold (EUR 100,000) for the value of a public offering requiring publication of a prospectus, the obligations connected with public offerings have also had a negative impact on other methods of financing such as crowdfunding. The new regulations are aimed at relaxing the national requirements by raising the threshold to EUR 1 million and adjusting other regulations to this change.
The green light may have been given, but it is not glowing very brightly. Amendments to the Polish Road Traffic Law suggest a real possibility of self-driving cars becoming widely used in Poland. The new rules will allow roads to be used for testing autonomous vehicles. The act is also the first act in the Polish legal system to define an autonomous vehicle, which is a vehicle fitted with systems that control the vehicle’s movement and enable it to move without driver interaction, which a driver can take control over at any time (Art. 65k).
Reports released by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance leave no doubt that Europe has fallen a long way behind the United States and Asian countries in development of modern financial services. This is especially noticeable in crowdfunding. In Asia Pacific countries, this method generates more than USD 200 billion per year, but only some USD 8 billion in Europe. The proposed crowdfunding regulation is intended to change this by harmonising European laws and introducing a European passport for service providers operating crowdfunding platforms.
At a meeting summarising public consultations on a bill implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Poland, the Ministry of Digital Affairs confirmed that during legislative work a change was approved providing for major exceptions to the GDPR. This change was proposed in October 2017 by the Ministry of Development. This proposed exception is an interesting example of how hard it can be to draft legislation properly aligned to the needs of a digital economy.
On many occasions we have predicted that cryptocurrencies will soon become subject to Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regulations.
This became clear in July 2016 when the European Commission announced that it will impose new regulations and presented its proposed changes. (Coming soon: A legal definition of virtual currencies).
In our 2014 Virtual currency report we analysed the anticipated impact of the potential regulations on the cryptocurrency market and discussed the subject again in 2015’s Bitcoin and money-laundering regulations article. We have also brought attention to the subject during industry conferences and meetups.
Currently, legislative work on these regulations is nearing the end, both at the EU-level and in Poland. Below, we take a look at what the nearly-ready rules will contain and their practical impact.