On Saturday US SEC tweeted out their guide to initial coin offerings, apparently the content has actually been sitting on their website since March last year? Seems nobody really noticed until their tweet.
Their guidelines are definitely focused on being accessible to everyone using language that is not technical or filled with any US law jargon. Essentially their user guide confirm their view that a token issued in an ICO can be a security no matter how the creator refers to it.
You can read through the full guide here: https://www.sec.gov/ICO
Tokens sold in ICOs can be called many things.
ICOs, or more specifically tokens, can be called a variety of names, but merely calling a token a “utility” token or structuring it to provide some utility does not prevent the token from being a security.
Though the way they have written this particular guide line seems to be conveniently broad, potentially so that they can claim any token needed to be registered with the SEC?
ICOs may pose substantial risks.
While some ICOs may be attempts at honest investment opportunities, many may be frauds, separating you from your hard-earned money with promises of guaranteed returns and future fortunes. They may also present substantial risks for loss or manipulation, including through hacking, with little recourse for victims after-the-fact.
And of course they appear to have labelled the crypto industry as mostly being filled up with scams, well I guess that was to be expected.