Bitcoiin wasn’t so hard to kill after all.
There is coverage of Bitcoiin and Steven Seagal’s involvement as its ambassador here by core media. The initial coin offering (ICO) was called out for having characteristics of a scam by many. It appears the New Jersey Bureau of Securities (BoS) got wind of this and decided to stop Bitcoiin before they even started. The team behind Bitcoiin has therefore been furnished with a cease and desist order.
What the cease and desist order says about Bitcoiin
A number of accusations are leveled against Bitcoiin in the cease and desist order. First, is that the BoS of New Jersey considers Bitcoiin a securities token. This is the case even though the Bitcoiin team did not describe their ICO as such. Moreover, the order states that information on the website of the BItcoiin ICO called on the general public to buy and sell securities. As a result, the team behind the ICO was in violation of the Securities Law which forbade the “fraudulent offering of unregistered securities”, as the document put it.
Another concern raised by the cease and desist order was that the leaders of the project were unknown. The contact information on the website of the project was also not enough to help locate the team.
The SEC and celebrities endorsing ICOs
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission issued a public statement on 1st November 2017 which touched on celebrities’ use of social media and other platforms to endorse ICOs. According to the statement,
” These endorsements may be unlawful if they do not disclose the nature, source, and amount of any compensation paid, directly or indirectly, by the company in exchange for the endorsement.”
Steven Steagal made no such disclosures when making his endorsement. He is not alone in this regard. Other celebrities known to have backed or promoted ICOs are the boxer Mayweather, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, Paris Hilton and DJ Khaled. We can expect to see less of such endorsements in the future as regulators try to close in on “fraudulent” ICOs.
Would we miss this Bitcoiin? This is unlikely. All the team has done is add an extra “i” to the Bitcoin name. Expecting their ICO to end well might be asking for too much.
Here is one last question. Do we call this good riddance or a case of regulators overreaching?