SEC Establishes Analysis Matrix for Digital Assets

On April 3, 2019, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance published a “Framework for Investment Contract Analysis of Digital Assets,” issued a No-Action Letter to Turnkey Jet, Inc. and made a statement on both. Although all guidance is appreciated, there is really nothing new or different about the analysis, which is firmly based on SEC v. W.J. Howey Co. (the “Howey Test”).  Moreover, as discussed below, even though the SEC found that Turnkey Jet did not need to comply with the federal securities laws in the issuance and sales of its tokens, the opinion and issued guidelines do not go far enough and still leave a great deal of uncertainty.

Framework for Investment Contract Analysis of Digital Assets

The SEC’s framework sets forth facts and circumstances to be considered in applying the Howey Test to determine if a digital asset is an investment contract and thus a security subject to state and federal securities laws in its