Initial Coin Offerings

SEC Alerts On Initial Coin Offerings Are The Two Most Popular For 2017 (3 Of The Top 10 Overall)

The SEC Office of Investor Education and Advocacy recently issued a bulletin listing its 10 most popular Investor Alerts and Bulletins for 2017.  Numbers 1 (Initial Coin Offerings) and 2 (Public Companies Making ICO-related Claims) specifically related to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and number 9 (Celebrity Endorsements) arguably was also…

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SEC Issues Warning Regarding Celebrity-Promoted Coin Offerings and Moves Swiftly Against Unregistered ICOs

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently issued two warnings about investments sold on the basis of celebrity endorsements, including one relating to initial coin offerings (ICOs), and followed up with enforcement actions against unregistered ICOs. Investors can be misled by biased promotions. Receipt of cash or other consideration in…

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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…

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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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Israeli Regulators to Decide Regulatory Fate of ICOs in December

On August 30, 2017, the Israeli equivalent of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Israeli Security Authority (“ISA”) announced it had formed a committee to study whether, and how, to apply Israeli securities laws to initial coin offerings (“ICOs”).  Specifically, the ISA stated it would examine six issues related…

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CFTC Reaffirms Stance on Digital Currencies; Expresses View on DLT and ICOs

Pursuant to its LabCFTC initiative, the regulator issued a FinTech Primer on virtual currencies, including addressing the jurisdictional reach of the CFTC and the SEC (and potential overlap). Several questions remain regarding the already uncertain status of ICOs under the federal securities and commodities laws and regulations. WHAT HAPPENED? On…

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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…

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