The Government Blockchain Association (GBA), a US-based non-profit organization out of Fairfax, VA, are set to launch a proprietary token used to gain access to the GBA ecosystem. The GBA, described by Forbes as perhaps the first “tokenized trade organization”, aim to foster dialogue between government entities (both US and non-US) and private sector actors specializing in blockchain, in order to render blockchain-based solutions to public sector problems.
According to the draft white paper, the ERC-223 tokens will be distributed every quarter to early participants in building the ecosystem. Tranches of 25 million tokens, out of a total billion, will be divvied out more or less evenly to early contributors over a period of ten years, and will be theirs to sell later to others wanting to access the ecosystem. GBA hope to further enrich their platform by offering in-house training of certified consultants.
GBA themselves claim that:
being a member […] will be priceless for any professional or organization that desires to lead, or even simply monitor-the global transformation as blockchain improves government services across the world.
Utility or Security – a familiar problem
A principal unknown of the GBA project is whether or not its “airdropped” tokens will be classified as securities, a famously thorny issue in the crypto-asset industry — especially when falling under US jurisdiction, where regulators have so far failed to provide clarity on the issue.
Forbes commented that “The Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States, for instance, has suggested that even airdropped tokens can potentially be securities depending on how the facts and circumstances of the case square with the Howey Test.”
It is also not completely clear how GBA’s statu s as a non-profit affects its classification. A 2017 Wired article reported that past SEC comments “[have left] plenty of latitude for ICOs to avoid it being categorized as a security. Restricting who can invest is one way; non-profit projects can get also exemptions.”
The GBA white paper, without elaborating, expressed GBA’s desire that the ecosystem eventually “be managed as a DAO”, or Digital Autonomous Organization.