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What kind of year will 2019 be in crypto?

A panel at World Cryptocon leaves more questions than answers

LAS VEGAS—If 2017 was “the Year of the Utility Token” (I prefer “the Year that Crypto Only Went Up”), and 2018 is “the Year of the Security Token” (I prefer “the Year that Crypto only Goes Down”), what is in store for 2019?  A panel of experts tried to answer this question on Thursday at World Cryptocon in Las Vegas during a panel titled The Future of STOs: Regulation, Compliance and Promise. But it may have left more questions than answers. A lively discussion ensued among the panel, moderated by Forbes’ Aaron Stanley, touching on subjects such as the pros and cons of various security registration classifications, comparing U.S. versus offshore offerings, and which particular offshore venues are most palatable (Malta anyone?)

One thing that seemed clear is that regardless of which way blockchain entrepreneurs choose to answer those questions, there are obstacles to overcome, be they restrictive limits on how much capital can be raised, burdensome auditing, compliance and reporting obligations, how many unaccredited investors are permitted to participate, or how long tokens must be held before they can be freely transferred.

After 20 minutes, not much had been settled, but there did appear to be some consensus sentiment around the need for secure, regulated, publicly available platforms where token liquidity will be accessible both domestically and internationally.

I’m nominating an early nickname for 2019: the Year of the Exchange.


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Andrew D. Beresin is a practicing securities attorney and former hedge fund trader. He advises Wall Street firms on regulatory matters and provides expert services on exchange-listed trading. Beresin is a former federal district court judicial clerk and a graduate of Harvard Law School.