Well, my interview this week with SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce couldn’t have been more appropriately timed. However, now that the SEC’s long-awaited guidance on tokens is out, I have thought up a new question for her … will have to get to that one in the future.

The guidance doesn’t say much that’s new although it does provide some clarity on airdrops. But the fullness of its explanation of the Howey test applied to a crypto context will likely be useful to the space. The first no-action letter, on the other hand, seems to give little hope that the vast majority of crypto projects are going to be obtaining their own no-action letters anytime soon.

In other news, this week’s Forbes’ cover story is on Andreessen Horowitz giving up its VC status, and part of the reason seems a desire to unshackle A16z Crypto. Plus, Coinbase Custody pioneers new frontiers in staking, Paypal gets on the blockchain bandwagon, and this video of an IEO in action will give you flashbacks to 2017.

This Week’s Crypto News…

SEC Guidance Is Here! But Clarity? 🤔

The SEC delivered its long-awaited guidance on when crypto tokens are securities, but it’s not much different from what it’s been saying all along — that the Howey Test applies. What is new is that the explication of the Howey test was written in a way that tried to address many, if not all, aspects of tokens — from the involvement of developers and miners to the functionality of the network, etc.

The first no-action letter for a token was interesting — but mostly because it was for the kind of token that represents maybe 0.001% of all blockchain-based tokens out there …

Check out the show notes from the Unconfirmed episode for a bunch of different analyses, but one of the most comprehensive was Coin Center’s.

How Crypto Prompted Andreessen Horowitz to Give Up Its VC Status

In this Forbes cover story, my former colleague Alex Konrad describes how the storied firm is giving up its VC registration in order to no longer be burdened by SEC restrictions around “high risk” (i.e. crypto) investments to no more than 20% of a traditional venture fund. This move would, for instance, enable the firm’s partners to share deals, “with a real estate expert tag-teaming a deal with a crypto expert on, say, a blockchain startup for home buying.” Could this set the stage for A16z Crypto to become a bigger force at the firm?

Coinbase Custody Offers Staking

All the benefits of participating in networks + the security of cold storage? Looks like customers are sold — even with the 20-25% fee.

Paypal Makes Its First Investment in a Blockchain Company

The company, Cambridge Blockchain, appears to be targeting one of the long-touted uses of blockchain tech — identity. The amount wasn’t disclosed, but filings with the SEC indicate the company recently raised $3.5 million.

How Tokens Accrue Value: A Story About the First ICO + Tether

Enjoyed this tweetstorm from Nic Carter thinking about how to create value in a token that has lessons from the first ICO ever, Mastercoin, plus everyone’s “favorite” stablecoin, Tether.

Are Crypto Exchange Hacks Funding North Korean Nuclear Development?

“We need to ask ourselves – when North Korea tests their next missile, is it really okay that they paid for it with bitcoin?”

Why IEOs Give Us ICO Flashbacks

This video is nuts.