SEC is cautiously open to initial coin offerings, commissioner says

Regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission are still worried about the cryptocurrency fundraising craze known as initial coin offerings. But the agency is not looking to ban them and remains open to a legal avenue for crypto investments, according to one commissioner.

“Investors are having a hard time telling the difference between investments and fraud,” SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday. “Down the road, I think we will be thinking about ways to make those investments work consistent with our securities laws.”

When asked if his comments meant more regulation or an outright ban, Jackson said, “It doesn’t suggest either of those things.”

“Right now we are focused on protecting investors who are getting hurt in this market,” he said.

In an ICO, cryptocoins or tokens are put up for sale as a form of crowdfunding. Instead of voting rights or dividends that come with shares of a company, “utility tokens” promise access to a network, platform or service. But they’re often backed by an abstract idea, or in some cases, nothing at all…

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