Federal Court, SEC, and FINRA Scrutinize Cryptocurrencies and ICOs

September 17, 2018

On Tuesday, September 11, 2018, Judge Raymond J. Dearie of the Eastern District of New York issued a decision holding that Initial Coin Offerings may qualify as securities offerings and therefore be subject to the criminal federal securities laws.

This ruling came as two U.S. regulators—the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority—announced separate actions under securities laws against companies engaged in the cryptocurrency marketplace, including the sale of digital tokens.  As the popularity of cryptocurrencies grows and businesses and entrepreneurs increasingly turn to ICOs to raise capital, these developments may serve as guideposts for how cryptocurrencies and ICOs will be viewed by courts and federal regulators in cases to follow.

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This blog post was republished as, “Zaslavskiy Does Little to Encourage Clear Crypto Guidance,” by Law360 on September 20, 2018.