Blockstack's digital currency 'Stacks' to be tradable in U.S. once new blockchain arrives

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tech company Blockstack PBC’s digital currency “Stacks” can become tradable by U.S. investors with the launch of its new blockchain early next year, Muneeb Ali, the company’s co-founder and chief executive told Reuters in an interview late last week.

Under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, some cryptocurrencies or digital tokens have been classed as securities as part of efforts to enforce rules against entities failing to register digital currencies or assets sold to investors.

With the launch of Blockstack’s Stacks Blockchain 2.0 on Jan. 14, 2021, the company’s network will be no longer be controlled by any single entity and its Stacks token can no longer be considered a security under SEC regulations, Ali said.

This means Blockstack will not be required to submit regular financial reports as a company and its Stacks token can be traded by U.S. investors on U.S. digital asset exchanges.

The SEC did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The Stacks token, which currently trades on exchanges outside the United States, has a market capitalization of $220 million.

Blockstack, which is building a decentralized network and app ecosystem for Web 3.0, raised $23 million last year by issuing Stacks tokens in a public offering under the SEC’s Regulation A+ exemption. Those tokens though could not be traded by U.S. investors on U.S. exchanges.

“Over the past year, we have been moving on an explicit path to decentralization, with several independent entities now in our ecosystem...that there would not be dependence on our company for the success of the network,” said Ali.

“It is a little bit like bitcoin where there are so many different companies, different miners, and different players.”

Following the launch of Stacks 2.0, which will mean the token is no longer being treated as a security, Ali said Blockstack plans to file an exit report to the SEC that states it would no longer be filing the required reports with the U.S. regulator.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss. Editing by Jane Merriman