The SEC Case Against Kik’s ICO Appears Strong, Experts Say

The SEC Case Against Kik’s ICO Appears Strong, Experts Say

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sued messenger app maker Kik for its $100 million ICO – which the agency contends was an unregistered securities sale – and the regulator appears to have built up a strong case in its initial court move. In a complaint filed Tuesday, the SEC alleged that Kik violated federal securities law by not registering its kin token sale.
SEC’s Hinman Says Some ICOs May Be Eligible for ‘No-Action’ Relief

SEC’s Hinman Says Some ICOs May Be Eligible for ‘No-Action’ Relief

Startups that conducted initial coin offerings (ICO) years ago may be eligible for relief from potential enforcement actions by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, an agency official said Friday. For the last year and a half, the regulator has been filing cases against projects that raised money by selling tokens without registering them as securities. But in his opening remarks at the agency’s FinTech Forum in Washington, D.C., SEC Director of Corporation Finance William Hinman said that cryptocurrencies are capable of shifting from being a potential security to very clearly not being one.
Blockstream’s Samson Mow Is Launching a Space Alien Gaming Token on Bitcoin

Blockstream’s Samson Mow Is Launching a Space Alien Gaming Token on Bitcoin

An ardent critic of the hype surrounding crypto token sales is set to do the unlikely: launching a token. Samson Mow, the CSO of bitcoin startup Blockstream, has also been serving as founder and CEO of the gaming company Pixelmatic since 2011. The new plan will see Pixelmatic use Blockstream’s new token platform for launching security tokens on bitcoin via a sidechain.
Ethereum Investment Vehicle Approved for Small Investors

Ethereum Investment Vehicle Approved for Small Investors

Individual investors will soon be able to invest in Grayscale Ethereum Trust, billed as “the first U.S. publicly quoted security solely invested in and deriving value from the price of ethereum.” The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Wall Street’s self-regulatory organization (SRO), has approved public quotation of shares in the trust, Grayscale Investments announced Thursday.
7,000 BTC Lost in Hangzhou Scam

7,000 BTC Lost in Hangzhou Scam

This article was originally published by 8btc and written by Vincent He. Nearly 100 victims from various parts of China have reported to the Hangzhou police bureau, claiming that they were deceived by two young men, named Zhou Yi and Li Xiang, who allegedly stole nearly 7,000 bitcoin through exchanging or borrowing.
Blockstream Launches Security Token Platform on Bitcoin Sidechain

Blockstream Launches Security Token Platform on Bitcoin Sidechain

Bitcoin startup Blockstream is launching a platform that lets users launch their own tokens by utilizing its bitcoin sidechain, Liquid. Launched at CoinDesk’s Consensus conference 2019, the Liquid Securities platform is the first product Blockstream has launched on top of its Liquid Network sidechain, a network tied to the bitcoin blockchain with faster coin transfers and better built-in privacy.
SEC Slaps Blockchain Author Alex Tapscott, Firm With Fines Over Securities Violations

SEC Slaps Blockchain Author Alex Tapscott, Firm With Fines Over Securities Violations

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has fined blockchain author Alex Tapscott and his investment firm NextBlock Global over securities violations. The SEC says that Canada-based NextBlock had been offering securities that were not registered with the SEC “in any capacity” and that false misrepresentations were made about the firm when soliciting investors. The agency has therefore ordered Tapscott, co-author of the book “Blockchain Revolution,” to pay a $25,000 penalty and also issued a cease-and-desist on further securities violations by him or his firm.
Tata Settles Securities Between 2 National Depositories on a Blockchain

Tata Settles Securities Between 2 National Depositories on a Blockchain

India’s second largest firm by market valuation has completed a blockchain trial of cross-border securities settlement between two central securities depositories (CSDs). Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) announced Wednesday that the “successful” pilot project created a set of equity and fixed income securities for Morocco’s Maroclear depository and the Kuwait Clearing Company on the BaNCS Network – the firm’s multi-asset transaction management system implemented on its Quartz blockchain.
SEC’s Crypto Token Framework Falls Short of Clear and Actionable Guidance

SEC’s Crypto Token Framework Falls Short of Clear and Actionable Guidance

The Takeaway: The SEC’s new guidance outlines how it will apply the decades-old Howey test to crypto assets. However, there remain a number of unanswered questions, including how the broad definition of “active participants” might impact projects; how startups based overseas are impacted and when and how a token might no longer be a security. While legal experts and industry participants see this as a positive first step, the consensus appears to be that there are still many issues still to be discussed.
The SEC Just Released Its Long-Awaited Crypto Token Guidance

The SEC Just Released Its Long-Awaited Crypto Token Guidance

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published fresh regulatory guidance for token issuers, nearly half a year in the making. The guidance focuses on tokens and outlines how and when these cryptocurrencies may fall under a securities classification, according to the document.  SEC Director of Corporation Finance William Hinman first revealed that the regulator was developing new guidance for crypto tokens last November, and other members of the agency, including FinHub head Valerie Szczepanik and Commissioner Hester Peirce, have repeatedly said that SEC staff was working on the document.
In Plain English: SEC Publishes Guidance on Tokens as Securities

In Plain English: SEC Publishes Guidance on Tokens as Securities

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published an investment contract framework for digital assets, which is intended to give crypto companies guidance as to whether a cryptocurrency is a security. It’s the first major culminating work of the SEC’s FinHub initiative, a strategic group the commission launched in October 2018 to liaise with fintech and cryptocurrency companies and work toward more substantial regulatory guidance.
White Shoe to Wild West: Lawyers to Launch Blockchain-Only Law Firm

White Shoe to Wild West: Lawyers to Launch Blockchain-Only Law Firm

Blockchain technology is shaking up the legal industry. At least that’s according to prominent blockchain industry attorneys, Angela Angelovska-Wilson and Lewis Cohen, who revealed exclusively to CoinDesk Friday that they have started their own law practice focused on the nascent industry. Called DLx Law LLP, the firm opened its doors this month, with offices in New York and Washington, D.C. Its founders, Angelovska-Wilson, previously general counsel and chief compliance officer at enterprise blockchain startup Digital Asset, and Cohen, a seasoned securities lawyer, aim to run the firm differently than the typical law practice, in a way that aligns better with the culture of the blockchain space.
“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.
Singapore Grants RMO License for CapBridge to Operate New Security Exchange

Singapore Grants RMO License for CapBridge to Operate New Security Exchange

Global private capital platform CapBridge Pte. Ltd. has garnered a license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to operate a security exchange known as 1exchange (also called 1X), which became operational on November 21, 2018. The exchange is designed to organize liquidity for private companies prior to exit events like an M&A (merger and acquisition) or an IPO (initial public offering). In an interview with Bitcoin Magazine, CEO and founder of CapBridge Johnson Chen said that the process of obtaining the license took nearly two years.
Op Ed: SEC’s Latest Declaration Creates Legal Minefield for Digital Assets

Op Ed: SEC’s Latest Declaration Creates Legal Minefield for Digital Assets

On November 16, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a public statement clarifying its intent to regulate activities involving the issuance and trading of digital assets. The SEC’s Statement on Digital Asset Securities Issuance and Trading pronounces that three categories of financial services that utilize blockchain or other distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) are within the purview of the SEC and require registration with the SEC unless exempt.

EtherDelta Founder Pays SEC $385,000 in Damages for Running an Unlicensed Securities Exchange

It would appear more trouble may be brewing for the cryptocurrency industry. Although there is still no official industry regulation in the United States, dark clouds are gathering over EtherDelta. Zachary Coburn, the founder of the platform, is charged by the SEC for running an unregistered securities exchange. ERC20 Tokens Are Always Risky No one should be really surprised to learn the SEC doesn’t look favorable upon platforms trading ERC20 tokens.
Hong Kong Securities Regulator Promises to Regulate Crypto Investment Funds

Hong Kong Securities Regulator Promises to Regulate Crypto Investment Funds

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong has claimed that it will include crypto funds under its regulatory umbrella. The SFC issued a statement on November 1, 2018, laying out its new approach for regulating virtual assets in the future.
Bithumb and seriesOne Partner to Launch U.S. Securities Token Exchange

Bithumb and seriesOne Partner to Launch U.S. Securities Token Exchange

Aiming to create an SEC and FINRA-compliant U.S. exchange, blockchain-based crowdfunding firm seriesOne and crypto exchange Bithumb have formed a joint venture. According to an announcement made on November 1, 2018, officials behind the venture look to trade security tokens within a “compliant marketplace” and within the context of “other applicable regulatory approvals.” For South Korea-based Bithumb, the venture provides the exchange with new expertise around U.
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.

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.
Broadridge Pilots Blockchain for Repo Trades With French Banks

Broadridge Pilots Blockchain for Repo Trades With French Banks

Broadridge Financial Solutions has completed a blockchain pilot with two French banks aimed at recording the details of bilteral repurchase, or repo, agreements. The U.S.-based investor services firm worked with Natixis and Societe Generale on the pilot, which Broadridge said had demonstrated a distributed ledger's benefits for this kind of transaction. Specifically, those benefits include less manual intervention, reduced risk, greater transparency and faster processing, Broadridge said.
Collaboration FTW: How Blockchain Came So Far, So Fast

Collaboration FTW: How Blockchain Came So Far, So Fast

Rob Palatnick is a managing director and the chief technology officer at the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, one of the world’s largest financial market infrastructure providers. In this opinion piece, looking ahead to next week's annual Sibos conference, Palatnick takes stock of blockchain technology's progress in transforming the plumbing of global markets, and explains why cooperation is critical for further advancement.
Appcoin Law Part 2: The SAFT Solution

Appcoin Law Part 2: The SAFT Solution

Marco Santori is a fintech lawyer based in New York City where he leads the blockchain technology team at Cooley LLP. In this opinion piece, part of an ongoing series on the state of U.S. law as it applies to initial coin offerings and token sales, he explains the significance (and limitations) of the recently announced SAFT project.
European Central Bank Calls for DLT Post-Trade Interoperability

European Central Bank Calls for DLT Post-Trade Interoperability

Researchers at the European Central Bank (ECB) have published a new research report on the impact of distributed ledger technology (DLT) on the harmonization of post-trade settlement systems. Released by the Advisory Group on Market Infrastructures for Securities and Collateral late last week, the 134-page report examines the technology's possible effect on a variety of services that touch the securities settlement process.