In our 2018 SEC year in preview post, we called attention to an expected increase in SEC cybersecurity enforcement action. The SEC has certainly lived up to the billing throughout 2018, which was the first full year in existence for the SEC’s new Cyber Unit. In particular, the Cyber Unit and the SEC’s Enforcement Division focused on three types of enforcement actions: (1) stopping unregistered and/or fraudulent trading of digital assets,… More
Tag Archives: cryptocurrencies
Perhaps in the spirit of the saying “if you can’t beat them, join them,” the Securities and Exchange Commission recently launched an initial coin offering website of its own – HoweyCoins.com. No, the SEC has not suddenly decided to join the coin offering craze. But the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has launched this new mock site to illustrate the dangers of such offerings to retail investors. The site touts a coin investment opportunity in the travel industry and comes complete with many of the enticements common to the very offerings that the SEC is attempting to police,… More
Although the SEC has been focusing substantial enforcement attention on companies that are conducting illegal coin or token offerings, it has not stopped there. This blog post by our partner Neil Austin makes clear that the SEC and other regulators are paying attention to illegal advertising or promotion of these offerings by celebrities and other endorsers. By now it should be crystal clear that anyone considering an ICO or other token offering should be seeking comprehensive legal advice about how to conduct the offering without tripping over a host of legal requirements.… More
Bitcoin is white-hot. The cryptocurrency’s price has increased an astounding 2000% in 2017 alone. The app for Coinbase, the most popular cryptocurrency exchange, held the #1 spot on Apple’s app store, unseating the likes of Facebook and Instragram. Earlier this month the Chicago Exchange began offering trades in bitcoin futures, the first major exchange to do so (and futures contracts were up some 560% after one day of trading).… More
The Massachusetts Securities Division has announced that it will conduct an exam sweep of Massachusetts entities engaged in initial coin offerings (ICOs).
In the announcement, released on Friday, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin said that he views ICOs as securities that must be registered with the state.
“Blockchain may or may not change the way banks transfer money or the way credit payments are made,… More
For the second time in less than a month (click here for a prior enforcement action), the SEC’s newly created Cyber Unit has shut down an initial coin offering (ICO). This time the ICO was for Munchee, Inc., a California-based developer of an iPhone application for people to review restaurant meals. The recent enforcement activity follows several policy statements and warnings regarding ICOs. … More