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VCs reportedly ask SEC to exempt tokens from securities laws

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

A group of high-profile venture capitalists and lawyers recently asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to exempt virtual tokens from securities laws, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: So far, the SEC has signaled that it views initial coin offerings (ICOs) and token sales as securities, despite attempts by many companies to refer to them as "utility" tokens. But VCs might have tripped themselves up by often participating in "ICO pre-sales" that include pricing discounts, thus making it hard to argue their primary interest is non-financial.

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