On Motion for Reconsideration, SEC Granted Preliminary Injunction Against Cryptocurrency Exchange and its Founder for Acts of Alleged ICO Fraud

On February 14, 2019, the Southern District of California entered a preliminary injunction prohibiting Blockvest, LLC (“Blockvest”), a company set up to exchange cryptocurrencies, and its founder, Reginald Buddy Ringgold, III (“Ringgold”), from violating an anti-fraud provision of the federal securities laws. The decision came following the court’s initial denial…

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SEC Reaches First Settlement in connection with an Unregistered Crypto Exchange

On November 8, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that it settled charges against Zachary Coburn, the founder of blockchain token trading platform EtherDelta, over operating an unregistered securities exchange1. The SEC’s cease-and-desist order to Coburn describes EtherDelta’s website as a user-friendly interface resembling online securities trading…

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A Second Federal Court Decides Virtual Currencies are Commodities Subject to Federal Regulation

On September 26, 2018, a federal judge in Massachusetts agreed with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) view that virtual currencies are commodities under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and subject to federal regulation.  See CFTC v. My Big Coin Pay, Inc., No. CV 18-10077-RWZ, 2018 WL 4621727 (D. Mass….

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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…

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