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By Alison Frankel.
Reuters - There is scant precedent on whether cryptocurrency developers can sell tokens to the public without triggering U. So a decision Wednesday by U. Want more On the Case? Listen to the On the Case podcast. Judge Hellerstein said he is the first judge in New York specifically to answer that question on a summary judgment record.
Telegramgranting a preliminary injunction to block the launch of the Telegram Open Network blockchain, which was funded by private offerings of prospective digital tokens that would have traded on the network. But Judge Castel did not directly say whether digital tokens are themselves securities.
InU. An SEC spokeswoman declined via to comment on the Kik ruling. Kik clearly tried to structure its Kin offerings to avoid triggering obligations under U. It first entered into agreements to provide future tokens to 50 accredited investors in a private offering. Kik acknowledged that its contracts with those investors, who agreed to pay U. The day after the private offering closed, Kik sold Kin to members of the public. Kudos to the judge for digesting hundreds of s of briefing on competing summary judgment motions into just 19 s!
Kik, he said, created a common enterprise by emphasizing the importance of the Kin ecosystem. It told investors in the private offering, the judge said, that their money would be used to develop a platform for Kin owners to spend their tokens, whether on tangible stuff like sunglasses or services like pay-to-participate chat groups.
Their only worth comes from serving as a means of exchange for goods and services on the Kin ecosystem — which depended on Kik for development. The supply of Kin, the judge noted, also depended on Kik, which controlled a huge chunk of the currency. The Blockchain Association, a group of 27 crypto companies, filed an amicus brief in the Kik case, asking Judge Hellerstein to issue a narrow ruling based only on the facts of the Kin offering.
The judge did that, rooting his decision in specifics rather than broad conclusions about the nature of digital currency offerings. The commission, according to this argument, is constitutionally prohibited from suing developers under its vague standards.
On The Case Updated. By Alison Frankel 9 Min Read.New york kik
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