Crypto News Weekly 18.10.18: SEC Names Blockvest ICO Fraudulent, Telegram Launch, Coinbase Hedges Brexit
SEC goes on the warpath, Blockvest shut down
The American Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has been intensifying its investigations of ICOs and widening the issue of subpoenas. As ongoing investigations leave many existing ICO projects that are operating unsure of future outcomes, some have started action to resolve, such as Iconomi, which is changing itself to a security token and buying back unwanted tokens at a premium if necessary.
Against this backdrop, the CFTC suggested this week that core developers and others should not be responsible for their networks legally but dApp (Distributed App Developers) could find themselves in the legal hot seat if it can be proved they should have seen the future use of their software in violation of security laws.
And the SEC hit one ICO, Blockvest, and its founder Reginald Buddy Ringgold with an emergency court order to stop their activities saying they had fraudulently been claiming to have SEC approval and relations with other companies in their ICO pre-sales. The company had been claiming to have a fully compliant and approved crypto exchange and index fund.
Telegram get ready for initial network launch
Do you remember the massive hype with the Telegram ICO last year, that was going public, and then swapped tack half-way through and went to accredited and institutional investors, privately raising $1.7 billion from 175 investors?
For a quick recap for those of you living under a stone, Telegram is the massively successful communications app/network that allows for complete privacy, and the company has even changed business locations to stay out of interfering legislation, being formed and headed by Pavel and Nikolai Durov, who previously formed the Russian Facebook equivalent, Vkontakte.
Well, they are launching their first network built from the ground up in Autumn to start testing on the project that will allow a full ecosystem based on the Gram Token, according to announcements given to their investors.
At the same time, they have been successful in their first round legal actions for infringement of copyright from the American startup Lantah, which claimed the Gram token as its own on the basis of an ICO they held for the token which failed to raise any money.
Coinbase hedge against British Brexit backlash
As the dancing queen Theresa May demonstrates her decided lack of agility and poise while she tries to negotiate a peace deal between the Northern Irish Unionists and the hard Brexit side of her own party, uncertainty started to spill over even into the crypto world.
Coinbase, which sees London as a strategic base for European expansion, has suddenly woken up to the major risk that Britain may crash out of the EU without any real agreements, leaving them stranded in an expensive London base. To counter this, they have been rushing around for plan B, which is now a Dublin office that will open soon, and could easily become the European head of operations if London loses its ability to host the broader financial sector.
SpankChain hacker gets $9k gift, and company get $ 450k Ethereum grant
In a weird turn of events, the CEO of SpankChain, Ameen Soleimani, says he managed to track last weeks hacker down, who compromised their smart contracts and persuade him on the phone to return the funds. As a reward for his actions they gave him a $5k bounty and a further $4k to buy back their Booty tokens. And then the Ethereum Foundation gave $3.5m of grants this week to 20 different parties, with $450,000 being given to Spankchain and a consortium for their work on an Ethereum open source non-custodial payment platform.