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: Initial Coin Offerings
HoweyCoins: The SEC’s Newest Attempt at Educating the Public on ICOs
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
Massachusetts Securities Division Files First Complaint Related to Initial Coin Offering
On January 17, 2018, the Massachusetts Securities Division Enforcement Section filed a complaint against the company Caviar and its founder Kirill Bensonoff for violations of the Massachusetts Uniform Securities Act in connection with an ongoing initial coin offering (ICO).
This is Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin’s first enforcement action related to an ICO. Last month, Secretary Galvin announced that the Massachusetts Securities Division would conduct a sweep of Massachusetts entities engaged in ICOs.… More
Massachusetts Announces ICO Sweep
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
SEC’s Cyber Unit Takes Aim at ICOs
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
SEC Report on ICOs and Token Sales – “If It Sounds Too Good to be True…”
On July 25, 2017, the SEC issued an investigative report to advise those who have used or may consider using a virtual organization or capital raising entity that uses distributed ledger or blockchain technology to facilitate capital raising that these activities are subject to U.S. federal securities laws. The SEC also released an investor bulletin to educate and caution potential investors about this new and growing type of capital raising.… More