SEC gives clear picture of when ICO isn’t a security

There’s big news for the cryptocurrency space and companies looking to start an initial coin offering (ICO). The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ruled that in the case of TurnKey Jet (TKJ), their ICO was not an offering of securities.

The ruling was published on the SEC’s website on April 3, and broke down how they came to the decision. The facts that helped them make the decision lays out a pretty clear roadmap of what a business will need to do to offer their own ICO without incurring the wrath of the department.

Importantly, the SEC noted that TKJ would not be using profits from the ICO sale to develop their platform, the tokens would be immediately functional as a method of purchasing plane tickets, they won’t be tradeable for other services, and they aren’t being promoted as some kind of investment opportunity.

That provides a fairly narrow opportunity for businesses to develop useful tokens to serve a business purpose, but serves as a big red flag to those trying to create an investment or fund raising opportunity from their ICO.

This is as opposed to other ICO investments, like many of those offered by Pantera Capital Management, which has worried in the past that they might have violated securities laws. Based on this new SEC ruling, if the companies they promoted to their investors were offering ICOs to fund their projects, or marketing the offerings as investment opportunities, it’s likely the SEC will rule those tokens as securities, bringing a full slate of regulation down on them.

The ruling is a refreshing take from a regulatory body. The SEC has given a clear signal to businesses that they can develop crypto tokens for practical business purposes. In TKJ’s case, they argued their token was necessary to correct inefficiencies they had to contend with in the current banking system, and the SEC agreed with that.

What they won’t stand for is companies that are looking to get rich off of nearly baseless speculation. That type of investment needs to be deemed a security, and regulated with the full force of the law.

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