"Fintech" is the term generally adopted with reference to all financial innovations, linked to the advancements of technology, which may entail the development of new business models, processes or products, as well as that of new market operators.
The relation with technology is the necessary feature making financial innovation possible. The nature of the relationship between technological innovation and financial intermediation has been investigated - from different perspectives – through a plenty of international public and private forums, with relation to the impact had by technological transformation on the worldwide financial system. The changes taking place today in the markets for financial services, driven by technology, have a far deeper and wider political-strategic substance than a simple reshaping of specialized economic entities (markets and financial intermediaries, above all), as we know them today.
Consob is interested in these changes in the dual perspective of both regulator and Authority in charge of investors' protection; following these premises, Consob deemed it appropriate to investigate the Fintech phenomenon and, more specifically, the Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), through the first publication of a document for discussion aimed to sketch a first attempt to define the basic principles of the ICOs phenomenon as well as to define a regulatory approach suitable to the offers of newly issued crypto-assets as well as with regard to the step of subsequent negotiation of the crypto-assets subject to prior issue and dissemination to the public. On the basis of the answers given to the discussion document, received by 5 June 2019, Consob published a final report ("Initial offers and crypto-activity exchanges") having the purpose of providing a feedback on the issues emerging from the analysis of the consultation outcomes.