Latest Articles

On April 3, 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took their first step towards providing greater clarity on the key question of how to evaluate whether transactions involving issuance or sales of digital tokens are sales of securities subject to U.S. securities laws and regulations. The guidance was released in two parts: First, the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub) published the “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets”…
On April 3, 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took a first step toward providing greater clarity on the key question of how to evaluate whether transactions involving issuance or sales of digital tokens are sales of securities subject to U.S. securities laws and regulations. To read the full client alert, please visit reedsmith.com.…
The United States District Court for the Southern District of California recently changed course in an enforcement action brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against cryptocurrency company Blockvest, LLC and its founder. In doing so, the court granted the SEC’s request to preliminarily enjoin the defendants from violating the securities laws and analyzed what exactly it means to “offer” securities in the context of crypto-tokens. To review the full article on our…
As detailed in a prior post on this blog, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California previously denied the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) request for a preliminary injunction against Blockvest, LLC and its founder and chairman Reginald Buddy Ringgold, III (Ringgold).  Recently, upon reconsideration, the court changed course, finding that the SEC presented enough facts for the court to preliminarily enjoin Blockvest and Ringgold from further violating Section 17(a)…
On November 28, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) request for a preliminary injunction against Defendants Blockvest, LLC (Blockvest) and Blockvest’s founder and chairman Reginald Buddy Ringgold, III (Ringgold) was denied by United States District Court for the Southern District of California. Blockvest and Ringgold were offering and selling unregistered securities in the form of digital assets called BLV tokens, per allegations by the SEC. Blockvest sold the tokens in an initial coin…
On November 28, 2018, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California denied the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) request for a preliminary injunction against Defendants Blockvest, LLC (Blockvest) and Blockvest’s founder and chairman Reginald Buddy Ringgold, III (Ringgold). Securities and Exchange Commission v. Blockvest, LLC, et al.[1] The SEC alleged that Blockvest and Ringgold were offering and selling unregistered securities in the form of digital assets called BLV tokens.…
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently settled two initial coin offering (ICO) enforcement actions grounded on the sale of unregistered securities. The two settlements, one with CarrierEQ Inc. (or AirFox) and the other with Paragon Coin Inc., are the first time the SEC has imposed civil penalties on companies solely for offering digital tokens in an ICO. Notably, the settlements signal the SEC’s intent to enforce the securities laws against sellers of cryptocurrencies,…
On Friday, November 16, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it settled two cases against digital token issuers. The settlements, one with CarrierEQ Inc. (AirFox) and the other with Paragon Coin Inc. (Paragon), are the first time that the SEC has imposed civil penalties on companies solely for offering digital tokens in an initial coin offering (ICO) that allegedly violates the securities laws. In addition to agreeing to pay civil fines…
On November 8, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) settled its first case against an unregistered cryptocurrency exchange.  Zachary Coburn, founder of EtherDelta, agreed to pay $313,000 in disgorgement and interest, along with a civil fine of $75,000, in order to settle SEC allegations that EtherDelta was acting as an unregistered securities exchange.…
With the plaintiffs’ bar setting its sights on initial coin offerings, a body of precedent will soon develop analyzing digital tokens under U.S. securities laws. Last week, United States Magistrate Judge Andrea M. Simonton began developing that body of law in Rensel v. Centra Tech, Inc., No. 17-CV-24500, 2018 BL 227097 (S.D. Fla. June 25, 2018). Although Judge Simonton’s opinion does not tackle many of crypto’s most-pressing questions, it serves as a guidepost for future…