Simona Mola, Senior Economist
- Highlights from an empirical analysis of almost 7 years of SEC enforcement on cryptocurrency: significant milestones and future trends.
- Compliant ICOs: an economic analysis of the alternative mechanisms to raise capital.
- Challenges and risks beyond ICOs and the Howey test: SEC’s approach to broker-dealer custody of digital assets, Bitcoin ETFs, stablecoins, and more.
Boris Richard, Managing Director
1 .SEC stance on cryptocurrencies will remain restrictive: on the one hand, the agency is determined to continue applying Howey test to ICOs; on the other hand, no regulated cryptocurrency ETFs in the foreseeable future due to the regulator’s conviction that cryptomarkets are not liquid enough and protected enough from manipulation.
2. Time separated (pre-sale/public sale) ICOs and SAFT agreements will be challenged by the SEC. Blockchain companies should explore other ways of raising funds through token offerings which include Reg A+ exemption, two-token schemes or full blown registration.
3. Reg D exemption for an ICO is not a panacea and may be challenged by the SEC.
4. SEC will maintain its broad enforcement reach in terms of (1) geography – foreign entities may be target of enforcement actions as long as they offer products to US customers; (2) type of products (for example, securities-based swaps funded by cryptocurrencies); (3) types of market participants (for instance, paid ICO promoters).
Andrew Bull, Founding Partner
Bull Blockchain Law LLC
- The DAO Report and Beyond: discussing the legal ramifications of the SEC's seminal cryptocurrency categorization case as well as subsequent decisions (e.g., Munchee, Paragon, and Tomahawk). Companies issuing tokens should consider certain factors and actions when determining whether their token is a security.
- This will also touch on the newly released Libra Token whitepaper as well as the recent class action case filed against token issuers and exchanges.
- Security Tokens: how transfer agents, broker-dealers, and escrow services play into companies issuing security tokens in domestic and foreign jurisdictions. Discussing the type of offering as well as the economic rights tokens represent and how this dictates relationships with third party service providers.
- The SEC's take on the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. Reflecting on interviews with SEC Commissioners, this section will give insight into some of the more progressive actions the agency has taken to foster development in the industry, e.g., FinHub, safe-harbors, etc.