SEC to Slap ICO Founder With $30K Fine

Additionally, David Laurance, founder of Tomahawk Exploration LLC got 2 lifetime bans
15 August 2018   816

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday reported that it has issued two new bans directed against David Laurence, the founder of Tomahawk Exploration LLC. Tomahawk allegedly stands behind fraudulent ICO, writes CoinDesk.

Laurence, according to the SEC, raised funds through the sale of Tomahawkcoin tokens, in the process of using misleading advertising materials and fraudulent statements that it is a tenant of drilling sites.

Moreover, the sale of Tomahawkcoin tokens, according to the SEC, was accompanied by a false promise that "the holders of tokens will be able to exchange Tomahawkcoin for shares and receive a potential profit from oil production and secondary tokens trading."

According to the SEC, Lawrence neither acknowledged nor denied the charges, but he and his company agreed to these bans, as well as a fine of $ 30,000.

...Tomahawk issued tokens as part of the Bounty Program to generate interest in the ICO, which benefited Tomahawk. Distribution of tokens that are securities in exchange for promotional services to advance the issuer's economic objectives or create a public market for the securities constitute sales for purposes of Section 5 of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.
 

SEC

The first prohibition of the SEC is a ban on the director's work in public companies, and the second does not allow Lawrence to own and trade in so-called "penny" shares. Both prohibitions, according to the announcement of the SEC, are lifelong.

ICOs May Allocate $24B Tokens to Themself

As reported, price of tokens, "left to cover the operating costs", reached $80B at the peak
17 January 2019   145

The total cost of the tokens that the organizers of well-known ICO projects have left to cover the operating costs and remuneration of developers at the time of release was $ 24.2 billion. At the peak, their price reached almost $ 80 billion. This is evidenced by the results of a study conducted by BitMEX together with the TokenAnalyst.

At the current illiquid rate, the assets of ICO-projects in their own tokens amount to about $ 5 billion, having depreciated by more than $ 70 billion.

However, the researchers note, this value is rather arbitrary, since the liquidity of tokens at peak levels was low. It is also incorrect to classify changes of this amount as losses because the organizers of the ICO transferred tokens into their wallets in accordance with the crowdsale conditions.

Having studied the archive of token transfers from ICO-team wallets, BitMEX and TokenAnalyst came to the conclusion that the realized profit from the sale of such tokens could be $ 1.5 billion, with the proviso that some of the tokens might not have been sold or left the wallets for other reasons .

The largest amounts of tokens in their wallets were credited by the Veritaseum and Noah project teams, which, as analysts say, looks “almost comical” against the background of real trading volumes.

Token data up to Dec 2018, data based on prices at the time(s) of issuance
Token data up to Dec 2018, data based on prices at the time(s) of issuance

This analysis highlights the lack of standards and transparency in the ICO market, especially when it comes to the allocation of tokens to the founding team’s wallet. Teams were often able to mint, burn, buy, and sell (their own) tokens at will, without analysts being able to easily track what is occurring. We would often see tokens in exchange clusters, and it was hard to tell whether the token project “paid” the exchange to list tokens or the token project just transferred their treasury to the exchange to cash out.
 

BitMEX Researchers' Report

In November 2018, BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes said that the tokens of the largest ICO projects would collapse after entering the secondary market.