The SEC Thinks Most Tokens Are Securities, For Now

By Robert Rosenblum, Amy Caiazza, Julie Krosnicki and Aaron Friedman (August 10, 2018, 1:23 PM EDT) -- A common misconception in the cryptocurrency community has been the belief that because a digital cryptocurrency or other crypto asset, a "token," is intended to have utility in the future, it is not a security at the time it is issued. That belief reflected a basic misunderstanding of the "Howey test," which is the principal test for analyzing whether most tokens are securities.[1] The Howey test looks to the current status of an instrument, not its future promise, in evaluating whether the instrument is a security. Nonetheless, the Howey test at least leaves open the seemingly strange possibility that a token...

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