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.

Go deeper

49 mins ago - World

U.S.-Israeli delegation secretly visits Sudan

Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A joint U.S.-Israeli delegation traveled secretly on Wednesday to Sudan for talks on a possible announcement on "ending the state of belligerence" between the countries that could be released in the next few days, sources briefed on the trip told me.

The big picture: President Trump announced earlier this week he is ready to remove Sudan from the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list once Sudan pays $335 million in compensation to American terror victims.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

A white-collar crime crackdown

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

America has waited a decade for an aggressive government crackdown on white-collar crime. Now, just before the election, and in the middle of a bull market, it has arrived.

Why it matters: When times are good, investors become more trusting and more greedy. That makes them more likely to put their money into fraudulent or criminal enterprises.

  • After a decade-long bull market, there is no shortage of those frauds to prosecute.
2 hours ago - Technology

Lawyers crystal-ball the Google antitrust case

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Justice Department's antitrust suit against Google is a strong, straightforward monopoly case, competition lawyers and experts tell Axios. But that doesn't mean it'll be an easy journey for the government.

The big picture: Winning any antitrust case is a heavy lift. It's even more of a challenge to pull off victory in a future-looking case that seeks to make room for potential new competition to flourish.