The Securities and Exchange Commission last week sued blockchain company LBRY Inc. for alleged selling unregistered securities in a case that could threaten Americans’ ability to buy and sell popular cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ether, experts say.

LBRY is a protocol based on the blockchain technology underlying bitcoin BTCUSD, +0.54% that enables participants to host video and other content and charge users to stream or download it. The decentralized network is powered in part by so-called miners, who are rewarded for helping to maintain the system with a bitcoin-like token called LBC.

According to the SEC’s complaint against LBRY Inc., the startup that works to improve the LBRY network, the company violated securities laws by selling LBC tokens in order to fund its work, without registering those tokens with the SEC as a security.

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Jeremy Kauffman, CEO of LBRY denies that LBC tokens are securities at all, given that it did not conduct an initial coin offering to fund the business, and tokens were being mined and used on the network well before the company sold tokens to