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In a blog post published September 30th, 2019, Coinbase announced the launch of the ‘Crypto Rating Council’. Coinbase will work with seven other firms to provide a 1-5 rating which assesses how likely a digital asset is to violate U.S. securities laws. 20 cryptocurrencies have already been assessed.
Coinbase’s Crypto Rating Council Explained
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has continued to show increased enforcement targeting digital assets which violate federal securities laws.
In the midst of such an atmosphere, Coinbase has teamed up with seven other companies to launch the Crypto Rating Council. The organization will provide a rating scheme to indicate the likelihood an asset will be deemed a security, according to U.S. securities laws.
The other firms include Anchorage, Bittrex, Circle, DRW Cumberland, Genesis, Grayscale Investments, and Kraken.
Here’s how it will work: each digital asset which is listed on one of the council’s exchanges will be assessed. The asset will receive a rating between 1-5. A ‘1’ will constitute an asset with little-to-no features of a security, while a ‘5’ would reflect something similar to the SEC’s definition of a security.
So far, 20 assets have been rated.
Bitcoin (BTC) received a 1, while XRP, maker (MKR) and Polymath (POLY) all received a 4 or higher.
The ratings are based on SEC guidance, previous case law, and the legal and technical experience of the companies which comprise the council.
Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer Brian Brooks told CoinDesk that ratings of 5 would not be disclosed.
According to Brooks,
“Since a 5 rating indicates that the asset can only be listed on a registered securities exchange or ATS, by definition those ratings wouldn’t be published because the relevant assets aren’t listed by any member.”
Coinbase warned however, that all ratings are liable to change, and they do not constitute investment advice.
Following the remarks of Chairman Clayton, ICOs have plunged. Companies looking to raise capital while leveraging the benefits of blockchain technology have subsequently turned to the Security Token Offering (STO) as a regulatory-compliant alternative.
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