SEC May Signal Some Flexibility on ICOs

Looks like senior advisor for digital assets and innovation at SEC is not 100% against ICOs
14 December 2018   1506

Some blockchain projects may be able to circumvent the requirements of US securities laws by contacting the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a so-called non-action letter. As SEC consultant on digital assets and innovations Valerie A. Szczepanik explained, such letters will not be issued often, but this does not mean that they cannot be received at all.

I think that’s a way forward for a lot of people who want to implement some of these things that may not exactly fit in the format of the rules that we want. 
 

Valerie A. Szczepanik

Senior advisor for digital assets and innovation, SEC

According to advisor, issuers of tokens have three ways to comply with the requirements of the laws: register an offer of securities, declare an exceptional case, or "make sure they're not a security."

In certain cases, the SEC may decide that “maybe this doesn’t fit the letter of our law or regulation but it fits the spirit and we can accomplish all the goals of investor protection”. In this scenario, the SEC may indeed issue such a letter, which will indicate that its employees do not recommend taking legal measures against a particular issuer.

The letters set forth exactly what the person plans to do or the entity plans to do and if it’s something that the SEC feels comfortable with we can release a no-action letter for exemptive relief saying ‘we can recommend no enforcement action.
 

Valerie A. Szczepanik

Senior advisor for digital assets and innovation, SEC

As reported, her remarks signaling a modicum of flexibility are notable in light of SEC Chairman Jay Clayton’s advice last month to anyone raising money by selling a token that they should “start with the assumption that it is a security.”

Speaking about the principles of recognition of tokens as securities, Valerie recommended to take into account the structure of sales. According to her, only in rare cases the token will not be recognized as a security. Most often, investors expect to profit from investments in such proposals, which is enough to recognize them as the spread of securities.

SEC to Unveil New List of Probable TON investors

One investor in this list is a ex-member of the managing board of the Bitcoin Foundation and partner of Ribbit Capital Mayer Malka
27 January 2020   489

Some names of large investors and the names of investment companies that could take part in the $ 1.7 billion token sale of the Telegram blockchain project became known, CoinDesk reportes with reference to documents issued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the framework of the current proceedings.

One such investor is a former member of the managing board of the Bitcoin Foundation and partner of Ribbit Capital, Mayer Malka. He during the testimony at the beginning of the month mentioned Telegram CEO Pavel Durov.

Answering a question about whether Telegram is known for investors who can take on the role of validators in the TON PoS blockchain, Durov said:

We didn't put together a separate list of the purchasers who we would assume have experience in validating other networks, although it was obvious that certain investors… such as, for example, Micky Malka that we have discussed earlier, might… have experience in these processes of validation or at least were closely affiliated with parties that had experience in such processes.

 

Pavel Durov

Telegram CEO

In addition, Telegram Vice President Ilya Perekopsky, in one of his reports, named David Jan, the founder of ABBYY, a linguistic solutions development company, among potential investors. According to the correspondence published by the SEC, Ian asked Perekopsky if he could get an allocation in the ICO if he contacted Telegram directly without intermediaries in January 2018. “100 percent,” replied Perekopsky.

Also, TON investors could become the American funds Kleiner Perkins, Fortress, Draper Dragon, Dragoneer, DRW Holdings and Redpoint. This follows from the testimony declarations affixed by the SEC to the recent petition. In eight declarations, TON investors explain what prompted them to purchase Gram tokens. Company names have been removed from all documents, but they have remained in the file names. Sources familiar with the situation confirm that they really could take part in the ICO.

Most of the witnesses interviewed by the SEC indicated that they were interested in the possibility of supporting the Telegram project in the ICO TON, while the messenger itself does not accept funding for its main business. The announced investment amounts are on average $ 5-10 million. At the same time, Kleiner Perkins was initially offered an allocation of $ 15 million, but the company managed to agree on a twice as large investment, it follows from the submitted documents.