The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has slapped the blockchain company, Block.one, with a $24 million civil penalty for unlawfully conducting an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
According to a report released from the SEC office dated September 30, 2019, the regulatory body stated that it had settled charges against Block.one for unlawfully initiating an ICO between June 2017 and June 2018. On its part, Block.one accepted to settle the charges by paying a $24 million civil penalty.
The Parent Company of EOS
Block.one is the company behind the EOS, the seventh-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. The company has offices in Virginia and Hong Kong. The SEC claims that the ICO conducted between 2017 and 2018 raised several billion dollars worth of digital assets within the U.S. and worldwide.
The company claims that the company did not provide investors with adequate information that they needed to know as participants in the ICO. Consequently, the SEC deemed that Block.one was in a breach of the federal securities law.
SEC’s Division of Enforcement Co-Director, Steven Peikin, said:
“The SEC’s order finds that Block.one violated the registration provisions of the federal securities laws and requires it to pay a $24 million civil monetary penalty. Block.one consented to the order without admitting or denying its findings.”
The SEC established that initially Block.one stated that the capital raised from the ICO would go to general expenses, develop software, and promote blockchains based on the software. Besides, the company did not register its ICO as “a securities” offering according to the federal security laws.
According to the SEC order, Block.one launched its offer and sale of 900 million tokens shortly before the regulator released the DAO Report of Investigation and proceeded with the sale for almost a year after the publication of the document.
“A number of US investors participated in Block.one’s ICO…Companies that offer or sell securities to US investors must comply with the securities laws, irrespective of the industry they operate in or the labels they place on the investment products they offer,” said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
Overall, the order of the civil penalty raises questions because the amount is quite small, considering that $24 million is only 0.85% of the total market value of EOS.
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