SEC Director Clears Path for Secondary Sales of Security Tokens as Non-Securities, Declares Bitcoin and Ether Non-Securities

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finally provided some good news, and guidance, regarding permissible token sales. On June 14, 2018, William Hinman, Director of the SEC Division of Corporation Finance, speaking at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: Crypto, shared remarks that filled in some gaps surrounding the security…

Read More

SEC Sues Longfin Over Trades Following Acquisition of Cryptocurrency Company

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week sued Longfin Corp., a financial technology company that recently entered the cryptocurrency space, as well as Longfin’s CEO and three others affiliated with the company.  The complaint, filed in federal court in Manhattan, was unsealed on April 6, 2018, when the SEC…

Read More

ICOs in 2018: Increased Regulatory Scrutiny, and Alternatives to Traditional "Utility" Token ICOs

As originally published by Brave New Coin, January 19, 2018. As we transition from 2017 into 2018, there has been an increase in SEC and state regulator activity in the area of Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”), as the agencies seek to determine (i) whether certain ICOs constitute a sale of unregistered securities;…

Read More

ICO Participant Liability - Could you be Liable for Assisting in the Sale of Unregistered Securities?

As published in Bloomberg BNA’s Securities Regulation & Law Report, December 18, 2017 An initial coin offering (“ICO”) does not happen on its own. Rather, there are companies and individuals that assist in successful token sales. These can include ICO consultants, marketing firms, board members, partners at private equity and…

Read More

SEC Issues Cease and Desist Order and Further Guidance on ICOs

On December 11, 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a cease-and-desist order to Munchee Inc. (Munchee), a company that was in the process of a $15 million initial coin offering (ICO), for selling unlicensed securities. The SEC found that the ICO targeted investors, with the expectation of…

Read More

SEC Announces Cyber Enforcement Initiative: Distributed Ledger Technology, Initial Coin Offerings Under the Microscope

On September 25, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the launch of its new Cyber Unit. Drawing on the existing cyber experience of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, and including personnel from around the country, the Cyber Unit will target cyber-related misconduct in the following areas identified by the…

Read More

SEC's Phone Call to Protostarr Shuts Down its ICO

Protostarr, a block-chain based startup, has shut down its decentralized application and refunded its initial coin offering (ICO) participants following a request for information from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to the company, on August 24, the SEC contacted Protostarr and asked the company to “volunteer a…

Read More

China bans and deems illegal the practice of raising funds through launches of token-based digital currencies

Various news sources, including Reuters, are reporting that the People’s Bank of China has issued a joint statement with other Chinese regulators proclaiming that ICOs in China are illegal.  See the Reuters article here: China hits booming cryptocurrency market with coin fundraising ban.  The statement further directs Individuals and organizations…

Read More

12