News & Analysis as of

Virtual Currency Securities & Exchange Commission

Virtual Currency (aka Digital Currency or Digital Money) is a type of currency or medium of exchange that is not issued by any government nor guaranteed by a government currency. Despite lacking legal tender... more +
Virtual Currency (aka Digital Currency or Digital Money) is a type of currency or medium of exchange that is not issued by any government nor guaranteed by a government currency. Despite lacking legal tender status, Virtual Currency is still traded and exchanged in some environments, typically online environments or communities. Bitcoin is the most well-known form of Virtual Currency.    less -

Wild West No Longer: The SEC Brings Enforcement Actions Against Two Initial Coin Offerings

Ending months of speculation about when regulators would wade into the world of Bitcoin and other digital currencies, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently brought its first enforcement actions against...more

SEC Brings First Enforcement Action Related to Initial Coin Offerings

by Jones Day on

The Situation: Promoters of two recent initial coin offerings face charges of investor fraud brought by the SEC, after allegedly misrepresenting the assets purportedly backing the offerings, exaggerating the amount of funds...more

SEC Brings Fraud Action Against ICO Creator

In its first lawsuit targeting Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed fraud charges against the creator of the ICOs marketed as “REcoin” and “DRC.” The action, filed in the...more

SEC Gets Tough on ICOs, Files First Fraud Case

The SEC has filed charges against multiple ICO sponsors alleging securities law violations. The Securities and Exchange Commission (the Commission) has put its digital money where its mouth is. After concluding in a July...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Insider trading was a key focus this week. The Commission brought three cases, one involving a doctor tipped by a friend at the company; a second involving a going private transaction were a tip from an insider to his long...more

The SEC Takes Action Against Peddler of Allegedly Fraudulent ICOs

by Hogan Lovells on

On Friday, September 29, the SEC filed an emergency action in Federal District Court in New York against Maksim Zaslavskiy and two of his companies, REcoin Group and Diamond Reserve Club. Please see full Publication below...more

SEC Cracks Down on Fraudulent ICOs in Latest Enforcement Action

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

Two initial coin offerings (ICOs) were the target of a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement action filed on September 29. Based on the SEC’s descriptions, both ICOs, on their face, appear to be frauds, with...more

The SEC Addresses Initial Coin Offerings

by Carlton Fields on

On July 25, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a Report of Investigation pursuant to Section 21(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Report) and an Investor Bulletin: Initial Coin Offerings...more

SEC Advisory Committee To Discuss Implications of Blockchain for Securities Markets – No Action Imminent

by BakerHostetler on

Blockchain technology has made the agenda for the October 12, 2017 meeting of the SEC’s Investment Advisory Committee, the SEC announced on September 22, 2017. The Committee will be hosting a two-hour panel discussion among...more

SEC Busts Fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings

The SEC charged a businessman and two companies with defrauding investors in a pair of so-called initial coin offerings, or ICOs, purportedly backed by investments in real estate and diamonds....more

China moves to limit activities relating to ICOs and Cryptocurrencies: game over or level up?

by Hogan Lovells on

On 4 September 2017, the People's Bank of China ("PBOC") and six other government agencies issued the Statement on Preventing the Risks of Fund Raising through Initial Coin Offerings (the "ICO Statement"), declaring that...more

Blockchain Week in Review – September 2017 #7

by Perkins Coie on

Below is a summary of some of the significant legal and regulatory actions that occurred over the past week. This alert is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all such developments, but rather a selection of...more

No Summer Vacation for Distributed Ledger Technology

by Reed Smith on

As regulators across the globe turn their attention to distributed ledger technology (DLT), developments in this space have been in the news almost weekly this summer. In the past six weeks alone regulators in the United...more

ICOs Facing An Uncertain Future

by Ifrah PLLC on

This week, in a joint statement issued by the People’s Bank of China, the securities and banking regulators, and other government agencies, the Chinese government declared that initial coin offerings (ICOs) constitute...more

Funds Talk: September 2017 - SEC Investigation Warns Digital Assets May Be Subject to Securities Laws

On July 25, the SEC released an investigative report warning that “virtual” organizations’ offers and sales of digital assets may be subject to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of...more

SEC’s Phone Call to Protostarr Shuts Down its ICO

by Goodwin on

Protostarr, a block-chain based startup, has shut down its decentralized application and refunded its initial coin offering (ICO) participants following a request for information from the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

SEC Securities Trading Suspension for Three Blockchain-Related Companies

by Reed Smith on

The spot market for digital tokens, which was once a “wild west” seemingly outside the scope of most federal regulations, is being integrated into the emerging Federal and State regulatory regime. In a period of just over two...more

SEC Issues Warning on Certain ICOs

As the number and dollar volume of Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) continue to increase, the SEC has taken a greater interest in this activity. As we previously reported, the SEC issued its initial ICO guidance on July 25,...more

Despite Growing Regulatory Scrutiny Initial Coin Offerings Remain Popular

by Morgan Lewis on

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) have become a hot new way to raise funds in 2017, with more than $1 billion raised so far this year. In an ICO, a company or individual creates a new type of digital coin (also known as a...more

Scammers Strike Enigma Initial Coin Offering

In the latest example of security risks attendant to initial coin offerings (ICOs), on August 21st the blockchain startup Enigma reported that online scammers used fake solicitations for an ICO presale to steal approximately...more

Blockchain Week in Review – August 2017 #6

by Perkins Coie on

Below is a summary of some of the significant legal and regulatory actions that occurred over the past week. This alert is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all such developments, but rather a selection of...more

Not a Token Gesture: Compensating Service Providers with Virtual Property

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

Questions surrounding the use of virtual currencies and other digital tokens (“tokens”) as compensation came to the forefront last month following formal guidance from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on...more

Blockchain's Steady March to Legitimacy

by White & Case LLP on

Four separate events during the second half of July signal that virtual currency and blockchain are steadily becoming part of mainstream financial services. The interconnected histories of Bitcoin (the most common virtual...more

Blockchain Energizer Vol. 10

by K&L Gates LLP on

There is a lot of buzz around blockchain technology and its potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries from finance and health care to real estate and supply-chain management. Reports estimate that over $1.4...more

SEC Provides Initial Coin Offering Guidance

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

On July 25, 2017, the SEC’s Division of Enforcement issued a Report of Investigation (the “Report”) that concluded that the tokens issued in an initial coin offering (“ICO”) by a decentralized autonomous organization called...more

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