Peter Howitts from Ramparts law discusses the legal standing of ICOs in the context of international regulation.

Under a US and European legal analysis a key issue is therefore that, whilst there is pooling of capital raised in the token sale to develop a technology or platform, to the extent the token gives no direct rights to participate in the capital or profit of the token issuing entity (and, if different, the capital or profits of the underlying enterprises that may accept the tokens) then it is unlikely to represent more than a private contractual means of value exchange for future use.

There may be a hope that the token will increase in price/value but that does not of itself make it an AIF, a CIS or, I would expect, an investment contract for US purposes.

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