SEC-Fined Crypto Project Abandons Cannabis Co-Working Space Plan

SEC-Fined Crypto Project Abandons Cannabis Co-Working Space Plan

A cryptocurrency project previously sanctioned by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is selling a property that it had intended to use as a cannabis co-working space. The firm, ParagonCoin, revealed the news in a filing with the SEC late last month, stating that, while it had anticipated that its native PRG token could be used by marijuana-industry startups to pay rent for the shared office space, the property is now under contract for sale.
SEC’s First Crypto ‘No-Action’ Letter Took 11 Months to Secure

SEC’s First Crypto ‘No-Action’ Letter Took 11 Months to Secure

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cleared TurnKey Jet, Inc to raise money via the sale of a custom cryptocurrency on Wednesday in the form of a “no-action” letter, it’s first to address blockchain-based fundraising. The letter means the Florida-based startup can sell TKJ tokens to customers with the sole purpose of helping them book travel on private jets.
Cartoon: Snakes and Ladders

Cartoon: Snakes and Ladders

Startup life is full of snakes and ladders, but in the blockchain market there are currently more snakes. To play the game, roll the dice to advance … if you land on a snake’s head, go to its tail. If you land on the bottom of the ladder, move to the top. Good luck!
​​Market Mania Is Unavoidable, But Crypto Must Get Past It

​​Market Mania Is Unavoidable, But Crypto Must Get Past It

Michael J. Casey is the chairman of CoinDesk’s advisory board and a senior advisor for blockchain research at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative. The following article originally appeared in CoinDesk Weekly, a custom-curated newsletter delivered every Sunday exclusively to our subscribers.
Steve Bannon May be Eyeing a Move into the ICO Space

Steve Bannon May be Eyeing a Move into the ICO Space

Not content with disrupting U.S. politics, Steve Bannon now wants to disrupt the financial system with a move into the crypto space, according to a new interview. In a Bloomberg article published Thursday, Bannon – who was previously chief strategist for President Donald Trump and executive chairman of Breitbart News – told the news source that he has had meetings with investors and hedge funds about initial coin offerings (ICOs) in relation to his investment firm Bannon & Company.
Alabama Securities Watchdog Hits 3 ICOs with Cease-and-Desists

Alabama Securities Watchdog Hits 3 ICOs with Cease-and-Desists

The Alabama Securities Commission (ASC), the U.S. state’s securities regulator, has joined its counterparts in Texas and New Jersey in taking action on initial coin offerings (ICOs) that are soliciting local residents. According to a cease-and-desist order entered on May 2 and revealed yesterday, the agency has ordered purported cryptocurrency mining firm Extrabit to cease its token sale offering in the state.
KODAKCoin Fundraising to Begin Later This Month

KODAKCoin Fundraising to Begin Later This Month

A sale of Simple Agreements for Future Tokens (SAFTs) for KODAKCoin – the forthcoming digital rights token bearing the name of imaging company Kodak – is set to begin later this month. The offering, which is limited to accredited investors, will start on May 21 and seek to raise up to $50 million, WENN Digital announced on Thursday. Kodak licensed its brand to the firm for the project, which involves a digital rights management platform that has its own built-in cryptocurrency. KODAKCoin and its planned sale were first revealed in January, but an expected start date of Jan.
Why the SEC Should Give Amnesty to Illegal ICOs

Why the SEC Should Give Amnesty to Illegal ICOs

Daniel S. Alter is a shareholder at Murphy & McGonigle, P.C. and a former general counsel for the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS).
Bitcoin Futures Trading Questioned By Chinese National Media

Bitcoin Futures Trading Questioned By Chinese National Media

China National Radio (CNR), a high-level government mouthpiece, has aired doubts about the legality of services offered by OKEx, the Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange launched by OKCoin, previously one of the “Big Three” trading platforms in China. Through its podcast channel “Voice of China” on Thursday and later an article titled “Exchanges that still prevail after the ban,” CNR alleged that OKEx violated rules by offering bitcoin contracts to mainland Chinese investors after it claimed to have moved its business overseas.
The Seven Pillars of ICO Investing

The Seven Pillars of ICO Investing

Tim Enneking is managing director at Crypto Asset Management. Robert Brauer and Andrew Kang are members of the Crypto Asset Management ICO Analysis team.
‘Downright Fraud’: Hong Kong Securities Watchdog Warns on ICOs

‘Downright Fraud’: Hong Kong Securities Watchdog Warns on ICOs

Hong Kong’s securities regulator is taking a skeptical tone on initial coin offerings (ICOs). In a speech at an investment industry function on Friday, Julia Leung, deputy head of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), once more cautioned the public over fundraising activities associated with the technology. “While we acknowledge that innovative technologies such as blockchain have the potential to improve efficiency and financial inclusion, that does not entitle anyone to conduct fundraising from the public in violation of securities law,” Leung said.
What to Look for in ICO Terms and Conditions

What to Look for in ICO Terms and Conditions

Peter Khokhlov, Brian Konradi, and Andrei Danilov are lawyers and co-founders of Incremint.io, which is planning a token sale. This article does not constitute legal advice.

UAE Financial Watchdog Warns Investors Over ICO Risks

A financial regulator in the United Arab Emirates has issued a warning to residents on the risk of initial coin offerings (ICO). Issued on Feb. 4 by the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), the circular alerts residents in the country to be aware of the risk of investing in token-based fundraising activities such as ICOs and token pre-sales.
Philippine Regulators Eye New Rules for Bitcoin Exchanges and ICOs

Philippine Regulators Eye New Rules for Bitcoin Exchanges and ICOs

Regulators in the Philippines are considering new rules for cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs). Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) commissioner Emilio Aquino said that his agency could class ICO offerings as “possible securities” under the Securities Regulation Code, a Manila Times report said.
The Beginning? Tezos Could Open Doors for ICO Litigation

The Beginning? Tezos Could Open Doors for ICO Litigation

While startups launching initial coin offerings (ICOs) may be all too aware they’re working in a legal gray area, that might not be enough to stop lawsuits that could test their legality. At issue is that, although the U.S. agency tasked with enforcing securities law – the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – has voiced concerns about cryptocurrency tokens (even labeling one a security), it has yet to announce much in the way of formal rules.

Bitcoin Price Watch: A Final Look Back at 2018

At press time, bitcoin is trading for just over $3,700. While the currency has managed to keep up a small bit of momentum in the past seven days to stay above $3,600, the currency has failed to meet the expectations of most die-hard investors and enthusiasts. This will be our final price piece of 2018, so rather than spend time examining the currency’s present price and what could be keeping it here, let’s look at some of the biggest cryptocurrency news bits of the past 12 months. Chart by FUNTRADER-Vera We can’t write up this piece accurately without talking about Coincheck, the mother of all crypto hacks.
As It Ramps Up Enforcement, the SEC Has Been Looking Abroad for Assistance

As It Ramps Up Enforcement, the SEC Has Been Looking Abroad for Assistance

2018 has been a hallmark year for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s enforcement against cryptocurrency companies, and, according to one director, international collaboration with other regulatory agencies has played a supporting role in the SEC’s recent regulatory actions.
“Guidance by Enforcement”: How the SEC Is Slowly Shaping ICO Regulation

“Guidance by Enforcement”: How the SEC Is Slowly Shaping ICO Regulation

On November 27, 2018, a California judge turned back the SEC’s request for an injunction against token company BlockVest, a company the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is pursuing for allegedly conducting an unregistered securities offering. The judge, however, ruled that BlockVest’s token distribution, which was conducted via airdrop, was given freely and received without expectation for returns, so it didn’t constitute an investment contract.
Swiss Regulator Gives Clear Guidelines for Launching ICOs

Swiss Regulator Gives Clear Guidelines for Launching ICOs

On February 16, 2018, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA put the world on notice by being the first major economy to set out clear guidelines on initial coin offerings (ICOs). In an announcement, the Swiss regulator addressed plans to apply financial market legislation to different tokens as well as lay out how ICO organizers can get proper input from FINMA when planning or launching their initial coin offerings.

CFTC Advisory Committee Recommends Creation of Virtual Currency Subcommittee

On Wednesday, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Committee’s (CFTC) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) held a public meeting at its Washington, D.C., headquarters. During the meeting, members of the Bitcoin and cryptoasset industry shared information regarding this emerging market and offered guidance on how the CFTC may approach regulating the space in 2018.

China’s Stricter Regulatory Stance on ICOs Signal Caution, Not Calamity

On February 4, 2018, at 10:10 p.m. China Standard Time, Financialnews, a rather small news agency under the administration of China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), released an article that explicitly stated that “China will continue to watch virtual currency and activities related to it closely, and will take actions including shutting down commercial presences and exchanges within China’s territory to uphold China’s financial stability.

SEC and CFTC Give Testimonies at Senate Hearing on Virtual Currencies

Today, February 6, 2018, the prospects for coherent U.S. regulation on cryptocurrencies became a little more clear, as were the impasses that were frustrating progress on the issue. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs (the “Committee”) heard joint testimony from the heads of both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

SEC Chair’s Written Testimony Hints at Moderation for Cryptocurrencies, but ICOs Be Warned

The written testimony from Jay Clayton, chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), was released on February 5, 2018.

Credit Suisse Argues Irrational Exuberance Around ICOs Indicates Bitcoin Bubble

In a paper written in the fall of 2017 and published on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) on Friday, January 12, 2018, Credit Suisse’s Dietmar Peetz and Gregory Mall argue that the boom in the initial coin offering (ICO) market is the clearest indicator of a bubble in bitcoin.

Telegram’s Privacy-Focused User Base Could Become TON Blockchain’s Killer App

In December 2017, an interesting rumor surfaced: According to “sources familiar with the matter,” the messaging app Telegram, very popular among crypto-enthusiasts for its strong encryption and privacy features, would launch its own blockchain platform and cryptocurrency.