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the SEC

cleared TurnKey Jet, Inc

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cleared TurnKey Jet, Inc to raise money via the sale of a custom cryptocurrency on Wednesday in the form of a “no-action” letter, it’s first to address blockchain-based fundraising.

The letter means the Florida-based startup can sell TKJ tokens to customers with the sole purpose of helping them book travel on private jets. James Prescott Curry is the lawyer who worked with TurnKey Jet to get the SEC’s assurance that it won’t take regulatory action against the startup.

In announcing its decision April 3, the SEC references a letter from Curry dated April 2. However, as Curry explained to CoinDesk today, yesterday’s letter was probably the 10th version he’d written.

He told CoinDesk:

“I submitted the first draft of the letter on May 23, 2018, so it was a long, but rewarding, process.”

In addition to multiple versions of the letter, Curry estimated he probably took as many as 50 phone calls with SEC agency staff, largely beginning in the fall of last year. Four or five of those calls lasted from an hour to 90 minutes, Curry said, as SEC staff offered detailed questions regarding TurnKey’s proposal.

The longer calls are referred to by staff as “comment calls.” The first one began the iterative process between TurnKey and the SEC in October, Curry said.

Over the course of the discussions, the letter shrank from more than 20 pages to its current 13-page iteration. Despite all the contact, Curry said, the company was not sure it would attain relief until the SEC’s letter came out this morning.

“They’re good poker players,” he said.

We spoke to Curry, who serves on two technology committees of the Florida Bar Association, in detail about how he was able to shepherd TurnKey through to this phase of its business model.