Blockstack made waves in July when it became the first blockchain company to receive the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's approval to run an ICO-like offering. The Stacks (STX) token offering was the only chance for investors to buy STX as it wasn't set to be listed on any cryptocurrency exchanges.
STX will soon be listed on two international exchanges: Binance and Hashkey Pro, an institutional exchange, according to an announcement today from Blockstack. The listings are a first for a company that received a greenlight by the SEC for a token sale involving non-accredited U.S. investors (meaning people who don't meet certain income or wealth thresholds).
Blockstack's Regulation A+ token sale ultimately raised $15.5 million stateside, with an additional $7.6 million coming from overseas investors via a Regulation S sale. Those purchased STX tokens will be used to power smart contracts on Blockstack's "decentralized computing network and app ecosystem."
In other words, Blockstack tokens function like utility tokens. As Decrypt wrote in July, the SEC's permission for Blockstack to promote its utility tokens as investment-worthy securities is a mixed blessing. While it allows the company to stay on the good side of regulators, Blockstack may have to walk a tightrope as its network expands.
With these listings, expansion may indeed accelerate. As Muneeb Ali, CEO of Blockstack PBC, said in a blog post today, the purpose of the move is to "increase access to the Blockstack network globally" and "ensure convenient liquidity for Stacks holders and app miners."
Still, the listings represent something of an about-face for the network. The company had previously indicated that STX wouldn't be available on exchanges because such registered securities exchanges didn't exist. That's still mostly true.
For its part, Hashkey Pro maintains a similar ethos toward regulation as Blockstack. Its CSO, Ben El-Baz, wrote on Blockstack's blog, "We chose to list Blockstack's STX token because HashKey shares a vision with Blockstack that regulatory compliance is a positive development for the crypto economy and digital asset markets, and we believe that better information disclosure can help users better understand the assets they trade.”
Just not users in the United States.
Hashkey Pro is based in Hong Kong. Binance, though it serves users across the world, is headquartered in Malta. Neither is open to U.S. investors, who won't be able to buy the STX token… at least not yet.