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May 18, 2018 | 4 Min Read

StartEngine Drives the Path to Liquidity

StartEngine ICO 2.0 Summi

StartEngine Drives the Path to Liquidity

CORRECTION (September 2023): StartEngine no longer uses PrimeTrust as a custody solution. 

On April 20th in downtown Santa Monica, CA, StartEngine hosted the second ICO 2.0 Summit. Over 1,041 people attended, and the event was a smashing success. Just ask the people who tried the hummus-quinoa wraps. They were delicious.

In total, there were 7 keynotes, 40 speakers, and 16 ICO pitches at the day-long event. The room was packed as industry leaders sat together to discuss the future of ICOs and the path to liquidity for security tokens.

The state of the industry

Much has changed since StartEngine’s first ICO 2.0 Summit on November 10, 2017. After many statements from the SEC, the regulatory climate is shifting as the definition of a utility token narrows. The turning tide was clear from the very first panel at the ICO 2.0 Spring Summit when moderator Jay Samit asked, “what type of clarity would you like from the SEC [on what makes a token a security]?” That question echoed throughout the day as industry leaders debated the differences between utilities and securities and, in turn, what that means for the businesses issuing tokens.

That question and many more were addressed as attendees heard from keynote speakers, including Chia co-founder Ryan Singer, Upfront Ventures managing partner Mark Suster, angel investor Gil Penchina, and CryptoOracle partner Lou Kerner. Panelists covered everything from ICO litigation to the path to liquidity in the secondary marketplace to structuring a regulated ICO, the ICO 2.0’s namesake.


What makes a token a security?

The consensus of the ICO 2.0 summit was that the vast majority of ICOs have historically been the sale of securities, a fundraising model that requires the regulatory measures put in place by federal securities laws. As Ryan Singer puts it, “If you are doing an investment round, where people are giving you money, and they believe they may make a profit, not that you’re telling them that they might, but they believe they might make a profit, and you’re going to spend that money on doing a thing, that’s a securities offering.”

Or, put more succinctly, Linda Lerner, Senior Counsel at Crowell & Moring, said, “if you are offering tokens to raise money for your business, then you’re selling securities.”

Extra! Extra!

There were also several announcements from the summit, including PrimeTrust’s CEO and Chief Trust Officer Scott Purcell telling the crowd that PrimeTrust is working on a Regulation Crowdfunding crypto escrow. Josh Stein, the CEO of Harbor, one of the event’s panelists, also announced the week of the summit that Harbor had successfully completed a $28M raise to develop its securities token platform.

After the summit, attendees gathered in the courtyard for a cocktail hour and an artwork raffle as the sun set over the Pacific. Missed the summit? While you can’t recreate the magic of a happy hour past, you can join over 6,000 people that have already watched the summit online.


If you’re interested in being a part of the tokenized future, don’t miss the next ICO 2.0 Summit on October 19, 2018 in Santa Monica, CA!

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Unless indicated otherwise with respect to a particular issuer, all securities-related activity is conducted by regulated affiliates of StartEngine: StartEngine Capital, LLC, a funding portal registered here with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and here as a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), or StartEngine Primary, LLC, a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and FINRA/SIPC. You can review the background of our broker-dealer and our investment professionals on FINRA’s BrokerCheck here. StartEngine Secondary is an alternative trading system regulated by the SEC and operated by StartEngine Primary, LLC, a broker dealer registered with the SEC and FINRA.

Investment opportunities posted and accessible through the site are of three types:

1) Regulation A offerings (JOBS Act Title IV; known as Regulation A+), which are offered to non-accredited and accredited investors alike. These offerings are made through StartEngine Primary, LLC (unless otherwise indicated). 2) Regulation D offerings (Rule 506(c)), which are offered only to accredited investors. These offerings are made through StartEngine Primary, LLC. 3) Regulation Crowdfunding offerings (JOBS Act Title III), which are offered to non-accredited and accredited investors alike. These offerings are made through StartEngine Capital, LLC. Some of these offerings are open to the general public, however there are important differences and risks.

Any securities offered on this website have not been recommended or approved by any federal or state securities commission or regulatory authority. StartEngine and its affiliates do not provide any investment advice or recommendation and do not provide any legal or tax advice with respect to any securities. All securities listed on this site are being offered by, and all information included on this site is the responsibility of, the applicable issuer of such securities. StartEngine does not verify the adequacy, accuracy or completeness of any information. Neither StartEngine nor any of its officers, directors, agents and employees makes any warranty, express or implied, of any kind whatsoever related to the adequacy, accuracy, or completeness of any information on this site or the use of information on this site. See additional general disclosures here.

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Investment opportunities posted and accessible through the site will not be offered to Canadian resident investors. Potential investors are strongly advised to consult their legal, tax and financial advisors before investing. The securities offered on this site are not offered in jurisdictions where public solicitation for offerings is not permitted; it is solely your responsibility to comply with the laws and regulations of your country of residence.

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StartEngine’s Reg A+ offering is made available through StartEngine Crowdfunding, Inc. This investment is speculative, illiquid, and involves a high degree of risk, including the possible loss of your entire investment. For more information about this offering, please view StartEngine’s offering circular and risks associated with this offering.

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None of the information displayed on or downloadable from (the 'Website') represents a recommendation, offer, or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security. It also does not constitute an offer to provide investment advice or service. StartEngine does not (1) make any recommendations or otherwise advise on the merits or advisability of a particular investment or transaction, or (2) assist in the determination of fair value of any security or investment, or (3) provide legal, tax, or transactional advisory services.

All investment opportunities are based on indicated interest from sellers and will need to be confirmed.

Investing in private company securities is not suitable for all investors. An investment in private company securities is highly speculative and involves a high degree of risk. It should only be considered a long-term investment. You must be prepared to withstand a total loss of your investment. Private company securities are also highly illiquid, and there is no guarantee that a market will develop for such securities. Each investment also carries its own specific risks, and you should complete your own independent due diligence regarding the investment. This includes obtaining additional information about the company, opinions, financial projections, and legal or other investment advice. Accordingly, investing in private company securities is appropriate only for those investors who can tolerate a high degree of risk and do not require a liquid investment.

StartEngine Marketplace (“SE Marketplace”) is a website operated by StartEngine Primary, LLC (“SE Primary”), a broker-dealer that is registered with the SEC and a member of FINRA and the SIPC. StartEngine Bulletin Board ("SE BB") is a bulletin board platform that advertises interest in shares of private companies that previously executed Reg CF or Reg A offerings. SE BB enables shareholders to communicate interest in potential sales of shares in private companies and investors to discover, review, and potentially invest in private companies. As a bulletin board platform, SE BB provides a venue for investors to access information about private company offerings and connect with potential sellers. SE BB is distinct and separate from StartEngine Secondary (“SE Secondary”), which is an SEC-registered Alternative Trading System (ATS) operated by SE Primary. SE Secondary facilitates the trading of securities by matching orders between buyers and sellers and facilitating executions of trades on the platform. While a security may be displayed on the bulletin board, these securities will be subject to certain restrictions which may prevent the ability to buy and sell these securities in a timely manner, if at all. Even if a security is qualified to be displayed on the bulletin board, there is no guarantee an active trading market for the securities will ever develop, or if developed, be maintained. You should assume that you may not be able to liquidate your investment for some time or be able to pledge these shares as collateral.

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This Reg A+ offering is made available through StartEngine Crowdfunding, Inc. This investment is speculative, illiquid, and involves a high degree of risk, including the possible loss of your entire investment. For more information about this offering, please view StartEngine’s offering circular and risks associated with this offering.


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