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Cryptocurrency firms renew push to break free from SEC rules


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The New York Times
SOURCE: https://www.wired.com/story/cryptocurrency-firms-renew-push-break-free-sec-rules/
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Summary

Now the Canadian social media company Kik—backed by prominent voices in the crypto world—is stepping up its effort to use the courts to force the SEC’s hand.On Tuesday, Kik announced a crowdfunding effort to help it fight the SEC over the company’s 2017 initial coin offering, in which it sold nearly $100 million worth of a token it called kin. The SEC disagrees, arguing in a proposed action last November that kin are securities—investments subject to strict rules about how they can be sold.Kik’s fight has drawn interest from major investors and cryptocurrency exchanges such as Circle, that are hoping for changes in how tokens are regulated. SEC chairman Jay Clayton has indicated such coins are securities, but the agency has thus far taken a more tentative approach, meeting with companies for more than a year to tease out how coins are being used and what promises were made to buyers.The result, says Kik CEO Ted Livingston, is a “divide-and-conquer” strategy on the part of the SEC, where companies are individually guided into settlements. (Andreessen Horowitz says it didn't contribute to the crowdfunding campaign.)Kik’s crowdfunding campaign comes before the SEC has decided whether to accuse the company of violating its rules.

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