Category

SEC

Category

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…

For years, we have been writing about the reluctance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to approve a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund. See here and here. The stated concern of the SEC was whether the Bitcoin market was sufficiently resistant to market manipulation. However, as we recently reported, on February 12, 2021, Canada approved such an ETF. Indeed, it now has three: I Galaxy Bitcoin ETF (BTCX), Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC), and the Evolve Bitcoin ETF (EBIT).…

Before the current run-up in cryptocurrency prices, there were the wild days of late 2017 into 2018. One of the poster-children for that craze was an iced-tea company in Long Island, New York known as Long Island Iced Tea. 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. (LBCC) and announced that it was shifting its business operations from soft…

On February 17, 2021, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against Coinseed, a company that purported to offer a mobile investment application that enabled users to invest in digital assets, and its co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Delgerdalai Davaasambuu, in connection with Coinseed’s offer and sale of digital asset securities. According to the SEC’s complaint, from at least December 2017 to May 2018, Coinseed and Davaasambuu sold digital asset securities called “CSD tokens”…

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced on December 28, 2020 that it had filed an emergency action and obtained an order imposing an asset freeze and other emergency relief against Virgil Capital LLC and its affiliated companies in connection with an alleged securities fraud relating to Virgil Capital’s flagship cryptocurrency trading fund, Virgil Sigma Fund LP. The Commission’s action alleges that the fraud was directed by Virgil co-founder, 23-year-old Stefan Qin, an Australian citizen…