SEC Releases Framework for Classifying Digital Assets as Securities

North America United States
EtherDelta, a decentralized Ethereum exchange (DEX), has been accused by the SEC of providing a platform that illegally allowed users to trade tokens that the SEC considers to be securities under federal law.
Maciek Klimowicz
Written by Maciek Klimowicz

After months of deliberation, it’s finally here – The US Securities and Exchange Commission’s framework for classifying digital assets as securities.

The SEC’s Director of Division of Corporation Finance, Bill Hinman, together with Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation, Valerie Szczepanik, announced the “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets” on April 3, noting its aim is to help determine whether a digital asset is a security and thus subject to US federal securities laws.

“The framework is not intended to be an exhaustive overview of the law, but rather, an analytical tool to help market participants assess whether the federal securities laws apply to the offer, sale, or resale of a particular digital asset,” reads the announcement.

The announcement goes on to warn market participants to be aware that they may be conducting activities that fall under the SEC’s jurisdiction.

“Market participants may engage in activities that require registration of transactions and persons or entities involved in those transactions. Even if no registration is required, activities involving digital assets that are securities may still be subject to the Commission’s regulation and oversight,” it reads.

Again, on a cautious note, the announcement emphasized that the new framework “represents Staff views and is not a rule, regulation, or statement of the Commission. The Commission has neither approved nor disapproved its content. This framework, like other Staff guidance, is not binding on the Divisions or the Commission.”

Read the complete framework here.

About the author

Maciek Klimowicz

Maciek Klimowicz

A seasoned writer and editor with 10 years of experience in a variety of print and online media. Recognizing the transformative potential of the blockchain technology, Maciek has now put his pen to work to explore the key issues of this fast-evolving sector. Contact him on [email protected].

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