SEC Ruling on Block.one’s ICO Leads to Divided Opinions in the Ecosystem

The fine of USD 24 million represents only 0.6% of Block.one’s ICO proceeds. According to Shapeshift’s CEO, it is “sad” that in the ecosystem they were expecting a higher fine.

Among the recent events in the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem, perhaps the one that has raised the most dust was the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) ruling that the team behind EOS’s Initial Coin Offer (ICO), Block.one, will have to pay a fine of USD 24 million for making its sale as an unregistered offer of securities.

This figure has provoked diverse reactions in the ecosystem, mainly due to the percentage of Block.one’s ICO proceeds that it represents. The estimated proceeds were about USD 4,000 million, so the amount of the fine is only 0.6% of that amount.

For some analysts of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, that link between the punishment and the company’s proceeds only encourages more companies to enter the ICO world, disregarding U.S. legislation. The economic profit margin with respect to risks seems to reinforce that idea.

Against the SEC and Block.one

Among those who have expressed a negative view of the SEC’s decision is Nic Carter, co-founder of Castle Island Ventures. For Carter, the U.S. agency’s ruling shows a lack of protection for investors on the part of the government.

Carter posted on Twitter that the lesson to learn from this situation is that the government will not protect investors or demand disclosure from issuers. The analyst considers that future ICO promoters will be all right, since it “would suffice them to set aside 0.6% of their profits to deal with possible SEC sanctions.”

For his part, the cryptocurrency and blockchain expert Mike Dudas reacted sarcastically to the fact. He posted on Twitter that he would “finalize his ICO documents in order to make an unregistered security offer. The current rate for openly violating Federal Securities laws is 0.59% of the proceeds.”

Austin Hill, co-founder of Blockstream, is of the same opinion, since he claimed to have advised many people not to pursue ICO because of “ethical risks” that endanger uninformed investors.

In a Twitter post, Hill asserted, in mockery, that his advice should have been to discard the ethical aspect. “Profit as much as you can as quickly as you can, take the money abroad and budget 2% to bribe regulators in the form of sanctions.”

In Defense of Block.one

Not all the members of the ecosystem think that what happened between Block.one and the SEC is something negative. For example, the CEO of the Shapeshift exchange house, Erik Voorhees, considers the approach of those who say that the fine should have been higher “sad”.

For Voorhees, this view is contrary to that of Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, which gave rise to the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem that exists today.

For his part, José Antonio Bravo, Spanish economist and tax advisor, also published on the subject in the social network. According to his vision, it is part of the business to have access to a “reasonable” fine, have the ability to “make good lobbying policies” in terms of regulatory institutions and “go ahead.

By Willmen Blanco