Crypto Lawyer Drew Hinkes Joins Firm to Help ICO Issuers Fight Back

Blockchain lawyer Andrew Hinkes is spoiling for a fight. The general counsel at investment bank Athena Blockchain and an adjunct business and law professor at New York University, Hinkes believes token issuers will soon start pushing back against regulatory enforcement actions and demanding clearer guidance, after mostly taking it on the chin for the last year or so. And when that happens, he’ll be in their corner. Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, Hinkes has joined the blockchain and digital currency practice of the law firm Carlton Fields, where he will focus…

Prediction Startup Numerai Raises $11 Million in ICO

American prediction market startup and hedge fund Numerai (NMR) has raised $11 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) to launch its project Erasure, Numerai tweeted on March 21. Introduced in late 2016, Numeraire network provides a blockchain and cryptographic token-based ecosystem for incentivizing anonymous data scientists to create predictive models. Based on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, Numeraire tokens are used in trading market predictions on the startup’s platform. Numerai founder Richard Craib said that the funds from the recent ICO will be mostly spent on hiring engineers for Erasure,…

Thailand’s Securities Watchdog Approves Country’s First ICO Portal

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has given the green light to the country’s first portal for scrutinized initial coin offerings (ICOs). As reported by Bangkok Post on Wednesday, the decision was made by the SEC’s board of directors and now needs final approval from other government bodies such as the Ministry of Commerce, according to the agency’s director of fintech, Archari Suppiroj. The portal is being developed to protect investors by scrutinizing ICOs and auditing their smart contracts, as well as countering financial crimes by ensuring sound know-your-customer processes. Suppiroj further told the Post…

Report: Thai SEC Approves Country’s First ICO Portal

Thailand’s securities regulator has approved the first initial coin offering (ICO) portal in the country,  local daily news outlet the Bangkok Post reported on March 12. The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) board of directors has reportedly authorized the first ICO portal that allows to screen ICOs, perform due diligence, confirm smart contract source codes and conduct Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures. The operator of the ICO portal is reportedly a foreign entity. Archari Suppiroj, director of the fintech department at the SEC, reportedly told the Bangkok Post, “Thailand’s…

Dubai Real Estate Giant Emaar to Launch ETH Token, Considers ICO in Europe

Dubai-based real estate giant Emaar has announced plans to launch a token and is considering holding an initial coin offering (ICO) in Europe, English-language local media Arabian Business reports on March 11. Per the article, the token will be developed by Swiss blockchain startup Lykke, and will grant Emaar’s customers and stakeholders access to the referral and loyalty system across the entire company. Emaar is the largest real estate company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), responsible for the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain, Dubai Mall and Dubai Opera. According to…

South Korean Kakao Corp’s Ground X Plans to Extend ICO After Raising $90 Million

The crypto unit of South Korea’s largest internet conglomerate Kakao Corp will repeat its initial coin offering (ICO) after netting $90 million from investors, Bloomberg reported on Mar. 11. Klaytn, the blockchain platform which is the responsibility of spin-off firm Ground X, will now seek to raise another $90 million as soon as this week. In December 2018, Kakao had first announced that it was planning to raise around $300 million through Ground X to develop its own token. According to Jason Han, CEO of Ground X, IDG Capital, Cresendo…

Crypto Industry Trade Group JCBA Issues Guidelines for ICO Regulation

In order to promote domestic blockchain and  cryptocurrency-related businesses, the Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association (JCBA) has published its “Recommendations on New ICO Regulation” on Friday, March 8. The recommendations on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) regulations issued by the JCBA — a local industry trade group — focus on three main topics: the expansion of cryptocurrency in Japanese domestic exchanges, as well as the definitions of and regulations for utility tokens and security tokens. The proposed regulations suggest distinguishing between security and utility tokens and making the former subject to the Financial…

Spanish Mining Startup to Return $68 Million Raised During ICO

Spanish cryptocurrency mining startup CryptoSolarTech will return $68 million raised during its initial coin offering (ICO). A screenshot of an official letter sent to investors was posted on Twitter Wednesday, Feb. 20 by Spanish IT lawyer Sergio Carrasco. CryptoSolarTech apparently aimed to build a crypto mining facility powered by solar energy in Southern Spain, but failed to get a building permit. Citing reasons beyond their control, the founders of the project promised to return funds within 60 days. The startup also claimed that it is not responsible for any of…

SEC Charges ICO With Selling Unregistered Securities After Startup Self-Reports

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged crypto firm Gladius Network with selling unregistered securities after the company self-reported to the commission, an SEC press release reveals on Feb. 20. Gladius reportedly raised approximately $12.7 million in cryptocurrency during its initial coin offering (ICO) in late 2017, after the SEC had warned that tokens offered in such sales can be classified as securities under U.S. law. The commission specifies that the startup did not register its tokens with the agency and its “ICO did not qualify for…

US SEC Highlights Dedicated ICO Guide Amid Ongoing Regulatory Debate

U.S. regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reiterated guidelines on initial coin offerings (ICOs) in a tweet Feb. 10, as efforts to formalize the sector continue. A dedicated section of the regulator’s website now lists five aspects of ICOs the SEC considers essential, as well as a separate section for investors and market professionals. The content appears to have existed since March last year, with the SEC opting to draw renewed attention to it on social media this weekend. The material remains perhaps the most accessible publication into…