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Cornerstone Research, an economic and financial consulting company, has published a report finding that more than 6% of the securities class action filings made in 2018 have related to initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies.
6% of Securities Filings in 2018 Have Related to ICOs
According to Cornerstone’s “Securities Class Action Filings 2018 Midyear Assessment,” 7 of the 111 “core” filings (those “without [mergers and acquisitions] claims”) made in 2018 have related to ICOs.
The percentage of the total number of securities filings that relate to ICOs has thus far increased when compared to last year. A total of 87 core securities class action suits were filed in 2017, 5 of which pertained to ICOs (5.75%).
Cornerstone asserts that 750 securities class action filings have been made since mid-2016 – describing such as comprising “the most prolific 24-month period since the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA) was enacted.”
Number of Filings on Track for “8.5%” of all NYSE and NASDAQ-Listed Companies to Face Litigation by 2019
The cryptocurrency related suits filed in 2018 include those against Paragon Coin, Latium Network, DRIP, Cloud With Me, and Mining Max. Presently, there are ongoing suits against Bitconnect – which is accused of “fail[ing] to disclose material facts” precipitating its collapse, and Ripple Labs. Ripple is accused of raising “hundreds of millions of dollars” through the unlicensed sale of XRP to retail investors, with the suit arguing that XRP tokens “have all the traditional hallmarks of a security.”
Co-author of the report and former commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Joseph Grundfest, stated of the study’s findings that “Class action securities fraud litigation continues to affect a large percentage of publicly traded firms. […] If the trends observed in the first half of the year continue to year-end, approximately 8.5 percent of all companies listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ markets will have been sued in these cases.”
What is your response to Cornerstone’s research into the number of securities filings pertaining to initial coin offerings? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, law.stanford.edu
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Tezos was conceived as a governance-based blockchain to rival Ethereum, but it’s become more synonymous with protracted legal battles and internecine conflict. As the latest class action lawsuit drags its way through the courts, the Tezos community has petitioned for an end to all the legal turmoil so that everyone can move on.
Tezos Community Prepares an Amicus Brief
Tezos community leaders are sick of all the lawsuits, so much so that they’re preparing to go to court themselves – to put an end to all the courtroom battles. The Stop The Class Action Lawsuits Against Tezos petition, which is to be filed in a San Francisco Court, asserts that the class actions filed by various other Tezos investors have no merit and should be dismissed. They write:
We do not feel the plaintiffs have been sufficiently harmed to warrant a class action against the program, which further delays and encumbers it by creating large legal difficulties which becomes self-fulfilling and induced by the very plaintiffs themselves who complain of delay. We denounce the plaintiffs as having done more harm to Tezos than the delays inherent in software and network development.
Don’t Fight, Just BUIDL
In essence, the Tezos community members behind the petition want to draw a line under the sand and move on. Their goal is to show the court that it is highly unlikely that the plaintiffs can form a class. If enough people denounce the class, and there are just six plaintiffs claiming they can form a class, the plaintiff’s case becomes much more difficult. The plaintiffs have claimed that they are speaking on behalf of the entire Tezos community…but it appears that a significant portion of that community demurs.
“Everything else appears to be on track for the project now, just the looming threat of legal action limits the foundation’s ability to speak,” explained Shaun Belcher, a board of directors member with Tezos Commons Foundation. He believes that what is at stake has ramifications, not only for Tezos, but for the future of blockchain projects in general, adding:
“We must understand that the Tezos class action case could set a precedent for all ICOs, past and future. If the community can prevail, not only will it help Tezos but it will immunize other blockchain projects from facing a class action, because failure here against Tezos would discourage law firms in the future.”
Bitcoin Suisse Also Washes Its Hands of Class Actions
Last week, Bitcoin Suisse AF, a BTC brokerage, also filed a motion seeking to dismiss itself from the Tezos class action lawsuit is has been named in, writing:
Bitcoin Suisse submits that it is not properly named as a defendant in the Tezos litigation because of its lack of contacts with both California and the United States sufficient to establish personal jurisdiction and because the alleged, limited currency conversion services it provided, solely in Switzerland, prior to the alleged Tezos ICO, and its alleged post-ICO conduct, cannot establish liability under Sections 5 and 12(a)(1) of the Securities Act.
With a betanet launch of the Tezos blockchain planned for late June, the race is on to clear the air of all impediments that could further delay proceedings. Before that can happen though there’s still code to audit, tokens to list on exchanges and countless other development tasks to tick off. Meanwhile, the class action lawsuit rumbles on while the Tezos community grows ever weary.
Do you think the Tezos community have a chance of dismissing the class action lawsuit? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Tezos.
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The post Tezos Community Petitions to End the Class Action Lawsuits appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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This month a law firm called Polsinelli LLP published a study called “Cryptocurrency Class Action Lawsuits: A New Frontier” which explains that initial coin offerings (ICO) will spark a large number of litigation proceedings against cryptocurrency projects and businesses.
‘ICOs May Be Fodder for Lawsuits’
A group of researchers from the law firm Polsinelli LLP published a paper that claims lawsuits surrounding ICO projects will likely grow exponentially in the future. Polsinelli researchers Michael Foster, Mark Olthoff, and Richard Levin explain that bitcoin and ethereum are often used to raise money for ICO projects. ICOs have raised billions of dollars over the past year but have come under scrutiny from regulators for fraudulent behavior and often failing to produce anything of value. “These ICOs, however, have spurred recent class action lawsuits,” the Polsinelli paper explains.
“Because anyone with an idea for a project can gain financial backing without going through the formalities of an IPO, there are obvious chances for the public to be scammed, leading to potential lawsuits,” the research emphasizes.
We believe it is highly likely other issuers of tokens will face class action lawsuits. Any company planning to conduct a token offering using an ICO should proceed with caution. Similarly, anyone looking to invest in a token offering should make sure the offering is conducted in compliance with applicable state and federal laws.
ICO Lawsuits Started Growing in Number Last Year
The law firm also details that several class action lawsuits have been filed against ICO projects near the end of 2017 and in early 2018. For instance, a lawsuit was filed against the Centra ICO in December, the ‘decentralized hedge fund’ Monkey Capital a week later, and two more filed against the companies Gigawatt, and ATB Coin. Throughout October and November 2017 four lawsuits were filed against the founders of the Tezos project and its ICO.
“The thread running through many ICO models is that they are often sold in a manner that may be contrary to state and federal securities laws,” the Polsinelli paper explains.
ICOs, therefore, may be fodder for lawsuits by investors alleging harm by being taken advantage of by the founders and the lack of regulatory oversight.
Other ICO Litigation Questions Need to Be Answered
The attorney’s say that there are a lot more questions to be answered rather than concentrating solely on ICOs that have failed. Polsinelli’s paper says that the public needs to know whether the tokens constitute securities, and whether material facts were misrepresented about the network. For instance, the terms and conditions of an ICO may not allow them to operate in the United States under current regulatory statutes.
What do you think about the research paper that says ICOs will likely foster class action lawsuits? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, and Pixabay.
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The post Research Paper Says Issuers of ICO Tokens Will Face Class Action Lawsuits appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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