On November 29, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced in a press release that it has settled charges against two celebrities for promoting investments in ICOs without disclosing payments received for the promotion. The SEC has previously indicated in a November 2017 statement to the public that investors should be wary of celebrity-backed ICOs, but these are the SEC's first cases against celebrities for promoting ICOs for compensation without appropriate disclosures.
Music producer Khaled Khaled (known as DJ Khaled) and professional boxer Floyd Mayweather ...
Earlier this week, SEC Enforcement staff lost a bid for a preliminary injunction against a prospective ICO in its pre-offering testing phase.
Blockvest was preparing for an ICO of "BLV" tokens. Its website touted the endeavor as the "first licensed and regulated tokenized cryptocurrency exchange and index fund based in the United States," and showed pictures of the seals of the SEC, CFTC, NFA, and others. It also claimed to be regulated by the fictitious "BEC" (Blockchain Exchange Commission), which not coincidentally appeared to share the same Washington address as the SEC.
So how ...
In a November 16, 2018 Statement on Digital Asset Securities Issuance and Trading, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its current position on regulation of blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies. In its Statement, the SEC emphasized that "market participants must still adhere to our well-established and well-functioning federal securities law framework when dealing with technological innovations, regardless of whether the securities are issued in certificated form or using new technologies, such as blockchain."
The Statement relied on ...
Last Friday, November 16, the SEC issued a pair of settled actions setting a de facto standard of compliance for unregistered ICOs wanting to "come in from the cold." In each of them, the ICO offeror paid a $250,000 monetary penalty, registered its ICO as security, and entered a rescission undertaking respecting all tokens issued to date.
The first was a settled action by Paragon Coin - a digital token ("PRG") unregistered offeror in the cannabis industry. Paragon agreed to cease and desist, file a registration statement, and publicly offer rescission of the ICO. The Commission cited ...
On November 8, the SEC filed its first settled enforcement action against a cryptocurrency trading platform for operating as an unregistered exchange trading securities, in violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
"EtherDelta" was a platform offering matched-book secondary market trading of ERC-20 tokens, many of which had issued in unregistered initial-coin-offerings ("ICOs") having attributes of "securities" under the Howey investment-contract analysis. The Howey test was applied by the SEC in its July 2017 Section 21A Report, The DAO, to conclude that digital ...
Burr & Forman was a sponsor at the recent Distributed Health conference held in Nashville, Tennessee, with members of the firm's Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and E-Transactions team participating as speakers and attendees. The conference featured presentations and panel discussions from innovators and thought leaders, ranging from payers and providers to pharmaceutical manufacturers and policymakers. This fostered a collaborative forum for stakeholders in the healthcare and blockchain space.
Matt Kroplin, a partner in Burr's Nashville office, spoke on a panel about the ...
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