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Will the SEC release new rules governing ICOs by October 2018?

Cryptocurrency initial coin offerings (ICOs) have become increasingly popular in 2016 and 2017, growing by a factor of 100 during 2017 with about $3B raised in total in 2017's 4th quarter. This is still relatively small compared to ~$20B in 3rd quarter venture capital raises in 2017, but the proportion is rapidly rising.

However, there is something of a regulatory cloud of uncertainty hanging over the ICO industry. How cryptocurrencies in general are viewed by various government agencies vary widely among countries. The ICO issue particularly concerns securities regulators such as the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC.) So far, the SEC has issued statements cautioning against investment in ICOs, and gone after a few particularly egregious coin offering schemes, but not given clear guidance as to how an ICO should be run so as to be compliant with securities law. Will it?

With the SEC release any set of public, formal rules governing initial coin offerings by October 1, 2018?

Resolution is positive if the SEC makes public on a document setting out written rules specifically pertaining to cryptocurrency ICOs, addressing issues including what sorts of coin offerings constitute securities, that are arguably actionable in guiding companies undertaking ICOs as to what is likely or unlikely to be permissible under what circumstances.

As there are several types (proposed, final, interim final, etc.) of rules the SEC can release, we'll require just that they appear on the SEC rulemaking index, which contains all of these, with a listed date prior to Oct. 1 2018.


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