‘Problematic to imply all NFTs are securities’

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) first enforcement action on a nonfungible token (NFT) project triggered responses from community members, who pointed out how the decision could be “problematic” for many NFT projects that fit the description and might be next on the SEC’s hit list. 

On Aug. 28, the SEC charged the entertainment company Impact Theory for allegedly conducting the sales of unregistered securities. According to the SEC, the NFTs called “Founder’s Keys” were sold as an “investment into the business.” The company allegedly raised around $30 million through the sales.

The SEC believes that the NFTs sold were investment contracts and qualified as securities. The filing noted that the firm violated the Securities Act of 1933 for selling the NFTs without registration.

Not everyone agrees with the SEC’s decision. On Aug. 28, SEC commissioners Hester Peirce and Mark Uyeda also wrote their dissenting statement against the SEC’s action. The duo argued that the “handful of company and purchaser statements cited by the order are not the kinds of promises that form an investment contract.”

The SEC filed and settled its first NFT enforcement action today: https://t.co/RwaMGueBZK Here’s Commissioner Uyeda’s and my dissent: https://t.co/WhLKX3Tl8X

— Hester Peirce (@HesterPeirce) August 28, 2023

In addition, the commissioners highlighted that the SEC does not routinely bring enforcement actions against the sellers of “watches, paintings, or collectibles” that also give out vague promises to “build the brand” and increase the resale value of the items. 

Apart from this, the event triggered responses from community members saying that many NFT projects fit the description put out by the SEC. According to a researcher from the popular NFT collection Azuki, the case may be consequential, as some of the details may apply to “quite a few” NFT projects.

The SEC suing Impact Theory for selling NFT securities is a pretty big deal.

Because if you take a closer…


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