Category

SEC

Category

On July 21, 2021, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler spoke at an American Bae Association event. His main topic was security-based swaps. But at the end of his prepared remarks, the Chairman went out of his way to comment about the intersection of security-based swaps and financial technology, including cryptoassets. With respect to initiatives to offer crypto tokens or other products that are priced off of the value of securities and operate…

On July 14, 2021, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had settled charges against United Kingdom-based Blotics Ltd., the operator of Coinschedule.com, a once-popular website that profiled offerings of digital asset securities. The SEC’s order found that Blotics violated the anti-touting provisions of the federal securities laws by failing to disclose the compensation it received from issuers of the digital asset securities it profiled. Visitors to Coinschedule.com were presented with details about…

One of the poster-children for the ICO craze in late 2017-18 was an iced-tea company in Long Island, New York known as the Long Island Iced Tea Co. From approximately 2015 to 2017, the company’s principal business was ready-to-drink beverages. In December 2017, the company changed its name to Long Blockchain Corp. (LBC) and announced that it was shifting its business operations from soft drink production to activities related to blockchain technology. The rebranding with…

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced on May 28, 2021 that it had filed an action against five individuals alleging that they promoted a global unregistered digital asset securities offering that raised over $2 billion from retail investors. These activities relate to BitConnect, which shut down its business in early 2018, shortly after, as we reported, the Texas State Securities Board issued a cease and desist letter. At that time, the regulator alleged that…

It has been widely noted that the new Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission in the U.S., Gary Gensler, is much more tech savvy that his predecessor. Gensler has taught at MIT on topics such as blockchain technology, digital currencies, financial technology, and public policy. Last week, Gensler addressed his views on the regulation of cryptoassets in two public appearances. On May 6th, Gensler testified before Congress for the first time as Chairman. …

This blog has previously reported on the numerous enforcement actions taken by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against unregistered token sales. History, was made, however, on May 3, 2021 when INX Limited announced that it had officially closed its IPO with an estimated $85 million in gross proceeds from token sales, received from over 7,200 institutional and general public (retail) investors. INX is the world’s first company to debut and successfully complete an SEC-registered IPO of…

Depending on the particular branch of the U.S. government one is talking to, cryptocurrency can be property (IRS), a security (SEC) or a commodity (CFTC). On April 20, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill aimed at remedying this situation. The bipartisan Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act will establish a digital asset working group to ensure collaboration between regulators and the private sector to foster innovation. The new law will require the SEC and CFTC to…

In 2013, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was asked for the first time to approve a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund.  That request was denied.  More than a dozen other applications followed, each resulting in denial.  With at least six applications pending, and a number of changed circumstances, it is hoped that the SEC is finally ready to approve Bitcoin ETFs.  For a more detailed discussion of the state of play of Bitcoin ETFs, you can…

On March 29, 2021, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged LBRY, a blockchain company, with conducting an unregistered offering of digital asset securities. According to the SEC’s complaint, from at least July 2016 to February 2021, LBRY, which offers a video sharing application, sold digital asset securities called “LBRY Credits” to numerous investors, including investors based in the U.S. The complaint alleges that LBRY did not file a registration statement for the offering, and…

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced on March 11, 2021 that it filed an emergency action and obtained a temporary restraining order and asset freeze against Shawn Cutting of Sandpoint, Idaho. According to the SEC’s complaint, from October 2017 through at least May 2020, Cutting raised at least $6.9 million from over 450 investors by representing that he would pool investor monies into a fund that invested in various digital assets. The complaint alleges…