The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has not released an official list of crypto securities in 2023. However, the SEC has taken enforcement actions against several crypto exchanges and projects, alleging that they have offered and sold unregistered securities. These actions have included the naming of specific tokens as securities.
SEC Crypto Securities List in Lawsuits
Based on the SEC’s enforcement actions, the following crypto tokens are likely to be considered securities by the SEC in 2023:
- BNB (Binance Coin)
- SOL (Solana)
- ADA (Cardano)
- MATIC (Polygon)
- FIL (Filecoin)
- SAND (The Sandbox)
- MANA (Decentraland)
- AXS (Axie Infinity)
- COTI (COTI)
- CHZ (Chiliz)
- FLOW (Flow)
- ICP (Internet Computer)
- NEAR (Near)
- VGX (Voyager Token)
- NEXO (Nexo)
- mAAPL (Mirrored Apple Inc.)
- mAMZN (Mirrored Amazon.com, Inc.)
- mBABA (Mirrored Alibaba Group Holding Limited)
- mGOOGL (Mirrored Alphabet Inc.)
- mMSFT (Mirrored Microsoft Corporation)
- mNFLX (Mirrored Netflix, Inc.)
- mTSLA (Mirrored Tesla, Inc.)
- mTWTR (Mirrored Twitter Inc.)
- mIAU (Mirrored iShares Gold Trust)
- mQQQ (Mirrored Invesco QQQ Trust)
- mSLV (Mirrored iShares Silver Trust)
- mUSO (Mirrored United States Oil Fund, LP)
- mVIXY (Mirrored ProShares VIX Short-Term Futures ETF)
It is important to note that the SEC’s definition of a security is complex and evolving. The SEC may decide to classify other crypto tokens as securities in the future. If you are considering investing in a crypto token, it is important to do your own research to determine whether the token is a security.
SEC vs Crypto
The relationship between the SEC and the crypto market is complex and evolving. The SEC is the United States’ top securities regulator, and it has been taking a closer look at the crypto market in recent years. The SEC has taken enforcement actions against several crypto exchanges and projects, alleging that they have offered and sold unregistered securities.
The SEC’s definition of a security is complex and evolving. The SEC has said that it will consider a crypto token to be a security if it meets the Howey test, which is a four-part test that determines whether an investment is an investment contract.
The Howey test asks the following questions:
- Is there an investment of money?
- Is there an expectation of profits to be derived from the investment?
- Are the profits to be derived from the efforts of others?
- Is the investment in a common enterprise?
If a crypto token meets all four parts of the Howey test, it is likely to be considered a security by the SEC.
The SEC’s involvement in the crypto market has had a mixed impact on the market. On the one hand, the SEC’s enforcement actions have helped to deter some fraud and manipulation in the market. On the other hand, the SEC’s uncertainty about how to regulate crypto has created some uncertainty in the market.
It is likely that the SEC’s relationship with the crypto market will continue to evolve in the years to come. The SEC is still trying to figure out how to best regulate this new and rapidly evolving market.
Here are some of the key issues that the SEC is considering as it develops its crypto regulation:
- How to define a security in the context of crypto
- How to regulate crypto exchanges
- How to protect investors from fraud and manipulation in the crypto market
- How to ensure that crypto is used for legitimate purposes
The SEC’s decisions on these issues will have a significant impact on the future of the crypto market.
SEC Crypto Regulations
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States plays a crucial role in regulating securities, including cryptocurrencies and related activities. As the cryptocurrency industry continues to evolve and gain mainstream attention, the SEC has been actively developing a regulatory framework to protect investors and maintain market integrity.
In this overview, we will explore the SEC’s approach to crypto regulations and highlight key areas of focus.
- Securities Laws and How They Apply to Cryptocurrencies: The SEC’s primary responsibility is to enforce securities laws to ensure fair and transparent markets. While cryptocurrencies themselves are not inherently considered securities, certain activities involving cryptocurrencies can fall under the definition of securities offerings. The SEC focuses on determining whether a particular digital asset qualifies as a security based on established legal criteria, such as the Howey Test, as discussed earlier.
- Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs): ICOs, also known as token sales, involve the sale of digital tokens to raise funds for a project or venture. The SEC has taken a proactive stance on ICOs, emphasizing that many token sales could be classified as securities offerings and therefore subject to securities laws. Issuers of tokens deemed securities must comply with registration requirements or qualify for exemptions to ensure investor protection.
- Security Token Offerings (STOs): STOs involve the sale of tokens that represent ownership in an underlying asset or comply with traditional securities regulations. The SEC treats security tokens as securities, requiring compliance with applicable securities laws, including registration or exemption requirements.
- Crypto Exchanges and Trading Platforms: Cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms that facilitate the buying, selling, or trading of digital assets are subject to regulatory oversight by the SEC. Depending on the nature of the platform and the tokens traded, registration as a national securities exchange or alternative trading system may be required. The SEC also monitors these platforms for compliance with anti-fraud provisions and fair trading practices.
- Investor Protection and Fraud Prevention: Protecting investors from fraudulent activities and ensuring adequate disclosure of information are top priorities for the SEC. The agency actively investigates and takes enforcement actions against individuals and entities involved in fraudulent practices, such as misleading or false statements, Ponzi schemes, and unregistered securities offerings.
- Regulatory Clarity and Market Participation: Recognizing the need for regulatory clarity in the rapidly evolving crypto space, the SEC has engaged in ongoing dialogue with industry stakeholders and has sought public input. The agency aims to strike a balance between investor protection and fostering innovation by providing clearer guidelines and facilitating compliant market participation.
It’s important to note that regulatory approaches and interpretations may vary across jurisdictions. As the SEC continues to refine its crypto regulations, market participants should stay informed about evolving rules, consult legal professionals, and ensure compliance to navigate the regulatory landscape effectively.
The SEC’s involvement in regulating the crypto industry underscores its commitment to investor protection and market integrity. By scrutinizing securities offerings, exchanges, and trading platforms, the SEC aims to foster fair and transparent markets while allowing for innovation.
Understanding and complying with SEC crypto regulations is crucial for individuals and entities operating in the cryptocurrency space to mitigate legal and regulatory risks and contribute to the growth of a responsible and sustainable market