US and Canadian Securities Regulators Coordinate ICO Probe in ‘Operation Cryptosweep’

US and Canadian state and provincial securities regulators have opened probes into potentially fraudulent crypto investment programs in what has been dubbed “Operation Cryptosweep”, according to a press release May 21. The latest crackdown on suspicious crypto investment products is reportedly the largest such coordinated investigation by state and provincial officials. Regulators from across 40 jurisdictions coordinated by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) have initiated up to 70 investigations, with more to come in the following weeks. Securities regulators have reportedly warned as many as 35 companies about…

Thai SEC Holds Focus Group to Clarify New Crypto, ICO Regulations

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) held a focus group on cryptocurrency regulation today, May 21, streamed on Facebook Live. The hearing focused on the SEC’s approach to crypto-related businesses and fundraising through Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), local news outlet Siam Blockchain reports. Today’s focus group clarified that ICOs can only raise funds in the Thai baht and cryptocurrencies permitted by the SEC – those that “have enough liquidity and are not associated with money laundering.” Projects running ICOs, whose applications must be completed in 60 days, will also need…

SEC Launches Mock ICO to Show Investors Warning Signs of Fraud

Office of Investor Education and Advocacy at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a fake initial coin offering (ICO) website,  according to a press release May 16. The goal of the site is to increase awareness of the typical warning signs of scam ICOs and to promote investor education. SEC Investor Ed office launches mock ICO website: https://t.co/ZP9hyrfCsP #howeycoins #ICO — SEC_News (@SEC_News) May 16, 2018 The mock website HoweyCoins.com represents a classic example of a fraud ICO website that touts an “all too good to be…

The SEC Just Launched a Fake ICO Website to Educate Investors

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to ensure investors can identify fraudulent initial coin offerings – even if it has to launch its own to do so. The regulator announced Wednesday it has launched a mock ICO called HoweyCoin, presumably named after the Howey Test, which “touts an all too good to be true investment opportunity.” However, the company notes, “the offer isn’t real.” Users who try to invest in the token sale will instead be redirected to the regulator’s education tools, which are aimed at pointing out the…

ICO Project Polymath Is Trying to Buy a Stake In a Real Stock Exchange

If one announcement summarizes the ambitions of crypto project Polymath, it might be Wednesday’s acquisition of the domain “Tokens.com” One of its several this week, it cuts to the heart of the project’s aims to dominate the issuance of tokenized securities. But the plans go beyond just the acquisition of potentially popular domain names. In the run-up to the company’s Wednesday morning appearance at CoinDesk’s Consensus conference, Polymath also revealed it’s in the process of closing a deal to acquire a large stake in the Barbados Stock Exchange and that it’s…

CNET Founder Closes $50 Million ICO for Video Streaming Token

Streaming a TV show or a sports game directly to your laptop doesn’t make big TV networks much money today. However, that might change if VideoCoin, a new decentralized project that’s taking aim at the price major broadcasters and media companies pay to stream content, succeeds on its vision. When a broadcaster sends out a broadcast over the airwaves, one signal can reach many devices, but when it broadcasts over the internet one signal goes to one device. “It’s all cost and no revenue,” Halsey Minor, CEO of Live Planet,…

US Prosecutors Indict Three Co-Founders Of Floyd Mayweather-Backed ICO For Fraud

The three co-founders of cryptocurrency startup Centra Tech have been formally indicted for running fraudulent ICO, according to a statement May 14 from the U.S. Department of Justice. According to the four-count indictment issued by the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, all three Centra Tech co-founders Sohrab Sharma, Robert Farkas, and Raymond Trapani are being charged with securities fraud, wire fraud and two conspiracy counts. Centra Tech’s Initial Coin Offering (ICO) raised $32 mln from investors in 2017. The Florida-based defendants had misled investors by falsely claiming that their company…

Despite Ongoing Probes, ICO Legalization in the Cards in South Korea

South Korea has long been a big player in the cryptocurrency world, but recent government crackdowns have stymied the growth of local blockchain-based firms. Despite probes into exchanges as recent as last week, there are concerted efforts to re-legalize initial coin offerings in the country. South Korean lawmakers are working on legislation that aims to lift existing bans on ICOs. According to The Korea Times, a group of lawmakers is hoping to overturn the government’s ban on local ICOs that was enforced in September 2017. Helping legitimate ICOs get on…

EOS Revisited: Investors Are Taking Another Look at the Longest-Running ICO

Another blockchain for smart contracts? As surprising as it might sound, there’s a respect for incumbency even in the world of cryptocurrencies. As such, when the upstart EOS protocol launched last year with the ambition of improving on innovations like ethereum (themselves just a few years old), incredulity was in ample supply. Intervening months haven’t exactly helped this perception. But despite the skeptical experts, not to mention the very public derision of talk show host John Oliver, the EOS project has raised more than $2 billion in ether from the sale of…