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When it comes to regulations on cryptocurrencies, governments and central banks around the world have been almost equally tight on what is “allowed” and what not. The SEC is also making changes to the crypto industry and the taxes related to owning digital currencies, treating them as assets.
Now, one very special group of entities is calling for more special treatment when it comes to SEC and crypto regulation. Some of Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists are approaching SEC to be “friendly” to them when it comes to how tight the crypto regulations will come. More specifically, they are asking for special treatment when it comes to initial coin offerings, or the so called ICOs.
According to CCN, representatives from Union Square Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz have approached the SEC at the end of March to discuss ICOs and the regulations related to them.
Accompanied by lawyers from Cooley LLP, Perkins Coie LLP, and McDermott Will & Emery LLP, the venture capitalists have requested an official assurance that the SEC will not come down on the ICO tokens in which these high-profile investors have invested in. Both companies, Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures, are probably the two most active and high-profile VC firms in Silicon Valley.
Naturally, with the growth of the ICO sector, both have invested in companies such as Coinbase, CryptoKitties, Polychain Capital and many more. And while not all of these are established “unicorns” or big companies, all of them have started out with ICOs and continue to grow.
The issue with SEC regulating token comes from the fact that ICO tokens are considered securities, and as such, their issuers are to be regulated in a specific manner. What the VCs are now asking is that ICO tokens be treated as utility tokens, which are different than securities and hence, are not regulated as heavily.
The SEC chairman, Jay Clayton, explained:
“For example, a token that represents a participation interest in a book-of-the-month club may not implicate our securities laws, and may well be an efficient way for the club’s operators to fund the future acquisition of books and facilitate the distribution of those books to token holders.”