One of the big questions in the nascent cryptocurrency industry has been the applicability – or not – of securities laws to token sales. This week saw a major announcement on the issue when the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a report on its investigation of the token issuance related to the Ethereum DAO.
While the SEC said it would not bring any charges related to the DAO, it did say, upon its investigation, that the DAO tokens would have been considered securities under US law. Its report was intended to provide guidance to investors that “the U.S. federal securities law may apply to various activities, including distributed ledger technology, depending on the particular facts and circumstances.”
Along with its report, the SEC released an investor bulletin on ICOs, warning among other things against fraud.