Wherever currency is concerned, you can be assured that trifles might at one point or the other arise. This is the case as can be attested by the many numbers of court cases currently in hearing in this year alone that concern the fiat currency. However, the crypto industry is not absolved of such strife. There exists a number of proceedings that have cryptocurrency and blockchain in their midst — the latest one pitting the Securities Exchange Commission against an ICO firm.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has fined Russia-based analytics firm ICORating for failure to disclose payments for positive reviews to various projects.
Today the SEC announced a $268,998 settlement with ICORating for projects rated from December 2017 through July 2018. According to the SEC, projects rated by ICORating during that time raised funds through particular initial coin offerings which the SEC classifies as securities. As such, proper disclosures should have been made to potential investors.
A platform for rating investments in ICO-based projects, ICORating lists multiple team members from prominent cryptocurrency projects like NEO. No company members were charged in the SEC settlement.
In a statement, Melissa Hodgman, Associate Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said ICORating violated Section 17(b) of the Securities Act of 1933:
“The securities laws require promoters, including both people and entities, to disclose compensation they receive for touting investments so that potential investors are aware they are viewing a paid promotional item. This requirement applies regardless of whether the securities being touted are issued using traditional certificates or on the blockchain.”
ICORating agreed to pay $106,998 in interest and a civil penalty of $162,000 without commenting on the SEC’s findings.
August has proven to be a busy month for the U.S. regulator. Last week, the SEC charged New England-based SimplyVital Health for failing to register a $6.3 million ether (ETH) pre-sale of its HLTH tokens. On August 13, the SEC took action against two other ICO-based projects, PlexCorps and Reggie Middleton of Veritaseum.
Regulation is necessary for any industry; the crypto industry included.it is only through the control that standard environments can be established and set for the smooth and convenient conduct of business and transactions in the crypto industry. Given the security challenges that are involved in the crypto industry including fraud and money laundering among others, regulatory bodies such as the securities exchanges commission play a key and critical role in maintaining sanity and order in the industry. Without this, the crypto industry would spiral out of control and become untenable for prospective investors