Block.one to Pay $24M Fine, SEC Ruled

The Commission concluded that the company concluded an unregistered ICO
01 October 2019   902

Block.one came to an agreement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to pay a fine of $ 24 million for violating securities laws during an ICO of EOS project.

The agency indicated that the EOS token sale lasted almost a year after the publication of the report on the collapse of The DAO. The startup did not register the ICO as an offer of securities in accordance with federal law and did not achieve an exception.

The commission also concluded that Block.one did not provide ICO investors, including American citizens, with sufficient information.

The company agreed to a fine, but neither acknowledged nor denied the allegations.

Block.one clarified that the regulator’s claims relate to the sale of an ERC-20 token in the period from June 26, 2017 to June 1, 2018. This token has already been withdrawn from circulation.

Court to Ban TON Tokens Release

U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel, of the Southern District of New York issued a temporary restiction, therefore supporing the SEC
25 March 2020   942

The American court issued an order to the developer of the Telegram messenger, according to which he should refrain from the distribution of tokens of the TON blockchain project planned for next month.

According to CoinDesk, on March 24, the District Judge of the Southern District of New York, Kevin Castel, issued a temporary injunction, recognizing the SEC's arguments regarding the sale of unregistered securities by the company as reasonable.

The Court finds that the SEC has shown a substantial likelihood of success in proving that the contracts and understandings at issue, including the sale of 2.9 billion Grams to 175 purchasers in exchange for $1.7 billion, are part of a larger scheme to distribute those Grams into a secondary public market, which would be supported by Telegram’s ongoing efforts.

 

Kevin Castel

U.S. District Judge

According to the judge, this feature does not allow considering the Telegram offer as subject to exceptional conditions. He also noted that Telegram structured its project in such a way as to attract “the maximum number of primary buyers” against the background of the expectation of maximum profit at the time of launch.

Considering the economic realities under the Howey test, the Court finds that, in the context of that scheme, the resale of Grams into the secondary public market would be an integral part of the sale of securities without a required registration statement. 

 

Kevin Castel

U.S. District Judge

Conducting an analysis from the standpoint of the Howey test, the judge stated that buyers expected to profit from participating in the campaign. Moreover, although Telegram may argue that it will not become a guiding force in the further development of TON, “in fact,” it will be precisely this.

The judge agreed to distinguish between non-existent Gram tokens and securities purchased by TON investors, but refused to support Telegram's argument that Gram would be a commodity.

The Court rejects Telegram’s characterization of the purported security in this case. While helpful as a shorthand reference, the security in this case is not simply the Gram, which is little more than [an] alphanumeric cryptographic sequence.

 

Kevin Castel

U.S. District Judge

This is not the final decision, but it can serve as a powerful indicator of what position the court will adhere to further.