Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

The Law and Guidance Behind Cryptographic Tokens

September 2018 Bar Bulletin

By David M. Otto
and Andrea K. Louie

(First of Two Parts)

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s position toward tokens, digital coins and cryptocurrency has evolved over the last year.1 In 2017, we saw the year of the initial coin offering (“ICO”), where blockchain-based companies were able to raise millions of dollars and in some cases, billions, by selling the companies’ self-created and self-
issued cryptographic tokens.

These tokens provided their holders with a wide range of rights, from rights to secure additional tokens, to voting and other participation rights, to rights to a percentage of profits in the issuing entity. By the second half of...

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