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What is an accredited investor?

Accredited investors meet standards defined by the US Securities and Exchange Commission which allow them to invest in certain private securities offerings. Most startups raising money do so from accredited investors only.


The SEC web site contains the full definition. In general, any of the following would meet the standard:


  • Individuals with annual income over $200K (individually) or $300K (with spouse) over the last 2 years and an expectation of the same this year
  • Individuals with net assets over $1 million, excluding the primary residence (unless more is owed on the mortgage than the residence is worth)
  • An institution with over $5 million in assets, such as a venture fund or a trust
  • An entity made up entirely of accredited investors

More answers about investors

What is an accredited investor?

Accredited investors meet standards defined by the US Securities and Exchange Commission which allow them to invest in certain private securities offerings. Most startups raising money do so from accredited investors only.


The SEC web site contains the full definition. In general, any of the following would meet the standard:


  • Individuals with annual income over $200K (individually) or $300K (with spouse) over the last 2 years and an expectation of the same this year
  • Individuals with net assets over $1 million, excluding the primary residence (unless more is owed on the mortgage than the residence is worth)
  • An institution with over $5 million in assets, such as a venture fund or a trust
  • An entity made up entirely of accredited investors

How do I show accreditation based on crypto assets?

In order to fulfill the accreditation requirements with your crypto-asset holdings, you can either

  • Upload a screenshot from a credible cryptocurrency exchange or wallet showing holdings & valuations worth over $1MM USD. The screenshot should include the date and evidence tying the investor to the account (e.g. your name or the investing entity's name), or
  • Upload a message cryptographically signed using the private key of your wallet or wallets, proving that you own assets worth over $1MM USD. 
In either case, you will also need to provide documentation of your debts (e.g. via a credit report or letter from your accountant) in order to qualify. 


Detailed instructions for preparing a signed message


1. Prepare the following message for signature:


I, <Signatory Name>, certify under penalty of perjury that <Investing Entity Name> is the sole owner of the cryptocurrency address associated with this message as of <Today's Date>.


Replace the angle brackets with your name, the name of the investing entity, and the date.


2a. Signing the message - ETH


For Ether, use MyEtherWallet's message signing tool


Paste the message into the text field.




Select your wallet provider. (In this example, we use MetaMask.)




Click 'Connect'. Then, click 'Sign Message' to sign and approve the transaction. (There is no cost.)




Here is an example signed message:




2b. Signing the message - BTC


For Bitcoin, most wallets implement the ability to sign a message with your Bitcoin address’ private key. See this tutorial about how to sign a messaging with a blockchain.info wallet. See here for Jaxx wallet.


3. Submitting


Create a document with the message you signed, address, and message signature (sample information provided below):


A. Message:


I, John Smith, certify under penalty of perjury that I am the sole owner of the cryptocurrency address associated with this message as of Dec. 13, 2017.


B. Address


1UsRE3sak3u7qNaQ8Y1X4UmQS93qruLMt


C. Signature


IEXlF8laYLp1ZdQbIxWcXvQdt7d/0TyKLqKMNoTdpqCXG7LLm6upe4wjl6q9ZAtHc4paw9LqP8CudBNyOEwt1mo=


You can upload this information via the CoinList sale registration process or email the information to our team at team@coinlist.co.


In the event that your funds are spread across multiple wallets, you will need to include a signed message from each address.


Also, remember to provide documentation of your debts (e.g. via a credit report or letter from your accountant).

What’s a qualified purchaser?

Qualified purchasers as defined by the US Securities and Exchange Commission are individuals with at least $5M in investments or funds with at least $25M in investments.

Can non-US residents participate in a token sale via ComplyAPI?

Yes, non-US investors can invest using CoinList as long as they meet US accredited investor or qualified purchaser requirements. In general, non-US residents must also meet local laws regarding investment compliance. The determination to accept non-US investors is something  that must ultimately be made by the company raising money. 

How long does accreditation take?

Accreditation can take up to 72 hours, though it’s usually much faster. You can see the status of your accreditation application here.


Please contact team@coinlist.co with any accreditation specific inquiries.


What types of currency can I invest with on CoinList?

You can invest with US dollars, Bitcoin, or Ether.

How do I accredit my company?

In order to accredit your company entity with CoinList, you need to meet any of these following SEC requirements:


  • upload statements showing net assets greater than $5m, dated within 90 days 
  • upload documents showing that all shareholders are qualified purchasers 
  • upload documents showing that all shareholders are accredited investors based on individual assets over $1m or income over $200k ($300k with spouse)

Why do you need my SSN?

Your SSN is required under our KYC/AML policy, a process set by our banking provider. We verify US investor's social security number and birthdate against credit records then verify the investment signatory against OFAC and similar databases to flag prohibited or high risk persons and entities.


How do I accredit my trust?

In order to accredit a trust, you need to provide documents showing the trust's asset amount is over $5m. You can have your attorney or CPA write a letter attesting to this. Here is a set of templates that can be signed by them.

Why is a credit report necessary?

If you are providing evidence of your accreditation on the basis of having over $1 million in net assets, the company you are investing in is required to verify your debts in order to confirm that your net assets are greater than $1M. CoinList requests this credit report and includes only total debts (excluding mortgages) when verifying your accredited investor status.

Who will see accreditation documents I upload?

Documents you upload as evidence of accreditation are kept private and are only used to assess your accreditation status. Our team of licensed attorneys and CPA's review these documents to ensure that the relevant accredited investor thresholds are met.


How do I increase my investment limit?

If you would like to increase your limit, send a request to team@coinlist.co expressing your interest and the additional amount that you would like to invest.

Is there a contact email?

All questions can be sent to team@coinlist.co.


Why did my accreditation status "expire"?

According to SEC rules, we must check your accreditation status every three months if you accredited based on net-worth, and annually if you accredited based on income.

What is KYC/AML?

In order to invest through CoinList, you need to pass identity verification and KYC/AML (Know Your Customer/Anti-Money Laundering) checks. These checks apply equally to US and non-US residents. In general, you will need to provide a government-issued ID. 


You can learn more about KYC/AML here.