U.S. Congressman invites exchanges, crypto firms to discuss ICO regulation


Ohio state representative Warren Davidson has invited 32 industry leaders, crypto lobbyists and non-profit organizations to attend a forum next month on Capitol Hill. The forum, scheduled for September 25, will be held to discuss “light-touch” regulation on initial coin offerings (ICOs).

This was reported first by Axios, an offshoot of Politico, after obtaining the invitation and list of participants.

According to the Axios report, invitations to the forum have been sent out to traditional exchanges such as Intercontinental Exchange and Nasdaq.

The list also includes venture capital firms investing in digital coins including Union Square Ventures and other crypto companies such as Ripple and CoinList.

So far, U.S. regulators haven’t really come up with a framework for ICOs. Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), had earlier stated that every ICO he’d seen was a security. But the regulator stopped short of issuing any guidelines apart from taking action against fraudulent ICOs.

For now, the SEC seems to believe that ICOs are security offerings. SEC commissioner Hester Peirce has stated that not all tokens can be declared as securities, since these digital assets can qualify as a security at one point and change its status later on.

William Hinman, director of SEC’s corporation finance division, had earlier declared that Ethereum [ETH] was not a security.

His rationale behind the statement was the fact that since Ethereum’s underlying network had reached a certain level of decentralization, it doesn’t qualify as a security. Ethereum’s sale of tokens to the public in 2014 is widely considered as the first ICO.

The Axios report, citing an aide, added that Rep. Davidson’s office was in talks with the SEC about his plans for the forum. However, the regulator’s stance on the forum and potential bill regarding ICOs is unclear.