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Chamber of Digital Commerce to File Amicus Brief Advocating for a Predictable Legal Environment for the Blockchain Industry

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, the Chamber of Digital Commerce submitted a motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief in the SEC v. Telegram case currently pending in the Southern District of New York.  The Chamber is contributing to this case to be a true “friend of the court” and provide a legal framework based on settled SEC jurisprudence to create a predictable legal environment for the blockchain industry.  In submitting this brief, the Chamber does not take a view on whether the offer and sale of Grams is a securities transaction. 

The key determination that the Chamber seeks is to distinguish between the subject of an investment contract (the digital asset) with the securities transaction associated with it. This requires two separate analyses: (i) whether there is an investment contract, offered as a securities transaction; and (ii) whether the subject of an investment contract is a commodity that can be sold in an ordinary commercial transaction. The Chamber further seeks confirmation that a digital asset is not a security solely by virtue of being in digital form or recorded in a blockchain database. Uncertainty as to how the federal securities laws apply to digital assets is stifling economic development in the United States. This technology neutral principle remains consistent with the law established by the Howey case and its progeny.

The Chamber is represented by Lilya Tessler, Partner and New York head of Sidley Austin LLP’s Blockchain and FinTech group. The amicus brief includes feedback from numerous contributors from the Chamber’s blockchain industry membership.

“An extraordinary amount of work went into developing this brief on behalf of the blockchain and digital asset industry. We greatly appreciate the thoughtful analysis that Lilya Tessler and her team provided, as well as the countless hours of contributions from many of our members,” said Perianne Boring, Founder and President, Chamber of Digital Commerce.  

“The Court has an important opportunity to establish binding precedent in helping practitioners better discern when the securities laws apply to digital assets and when they do not under the Howey framework,” added Amy Kim, Chief Policy Officer of the Chamber of Digital Commerce. 

“We are delighted to represent the Chamber as amicus curiae in this pivotal case, which hinges on the Court’s application of the correct analytical framework to digital assets,” said Lilya Tessler of Sidley Austin LLP “The decision in this case will have far reaching implications for blockchain market participants, including investors, trading platforms, and technology companies that seek to facilitate both securities and commercial transactions in digital assets.” 

The Court scheduled a hearing in the SEC v. Telegram case for February 18 and 19 to consider the SEC’s request for a preliminary injunction preventing the delivery of Grams to purchasers. Each party has filed motions for summary judgement that focus their arguments on whether Grams are securities based on the facts in the case, while the Chamber’s proposed brief sets forth the applicable legal standard and implications of the Court’s decision in setting a precedent for the entire industry.

About the Chamber of Digital Commerce
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Chamber of Digital Commerce is the world’s first and largest trade association representing the digital asset and blockchain industry. For more information, please visit DigitalChamber.org, and follow us on Twitter @DigitalChamber.

Marie Knowles
[email protected]