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Disgruntled ICO Investors Threaten to Bring in the Crypto Lawyers

September 30, 2018 |

The great ICO rush of 2017 and early 2018 is over. The euphoria, the unironic cries of “When Binance?”, and the 10x returns are now a thing of the past. Epic gains and moon missions have been replaced by acrimony, recriminations and, increasingly lawsuits, both real and threatened.

Also read: BTC: 36% in Circulation Lost, 23% Held by Speculators, US Tax Authority Monitoring

Crypto Lawyer Season Is in Full Swing

Disgruntled ICO Investors Threaten to Bring in the Crypto Lawyers
Crypto lawyers have been the big winners from this year’s failed ICOs

One of the big selling points with initial coin offerings (ICOs) has been their inclusiveness. Almost anyone can participate. This has made for a more egalitarian process, in contrast with traditional IPOs which welcome accredited investors only. Lowering the barriers to entry has come at a cost however. Among this new wave of investors are many who lack the sense to distinguish a solid project from a dubious one, and who believe that if things go awry, they can call on their lawyer or even the SEC to ride to the rescue.

Crypto doesn’t work that way.

While ICO teams are still subject to the law, and evidence of clear criminality can and will be prosecuted, the majority of failed projects do not constitute exit scams or blatant deception; more often, a team simply fails to deliver after blowing too much of its budget on “expenses”. In such cases, the chances of successfully filing a suit are remote. The same people who ticked the Ts & Cs without reading and skimmed over the legal disclaimers in their haste to contribute ether to the next sure thing are the same ones now re-examining them in search of clauses that will entitle them to get their money back.

Bluster, Lawsuits, and Threats of Lawsuits

Security lawsuits concerning cryptocurrencies have tripled this year. To date, around a dozen ICO-related class action lawsuits have been filed including Paragon Coin, Cloud With Me, Tezos, and Latium Network. Ripple is also facing one over claims that its eponymous cryptocurrency is an unregistered security. Some naive investors seem to believe the SEC will operate as their personal army, filing on their behalf and bearing the legal costs. As co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division Stephanie Avakian recently explained, however, ICO cases that do not involve fraud are unlikely to feel the full force of the law.

Disgruntled ICO Investors Threaten to Bring in the Crypto Lawyers
A Shopin investor threatens legal action

The Telegram groups of many failed ICOs are seething with threats of legal action from enraged investors desperately seeking their tokens or ether back. Their anguish is piqued by trolls who show up to fuel the flames and savor the salt. Shopin’s ICO raised $ 46 million this year. Its CEO Eran Eyal has since been charged with grand larceny and fraud over a previous project, and is out on bond after being incarcerated on Rikers Island. Shopin tokens have yet to be unlocked, meaning bag-holders don’t even have their bags.

Other ICOs that have underperformed, from Polymath to Constellation DAG, are subject to the same threats from angry investors. While a handful of investors have the determination and the means to make good on their promise, the majority are too rekt to file suit, even if they knew how. Due to the multi-jurisdictional nature of cryptocurrency projects, determining where and how a case should be prosecuted is complex. Legal threats in Telegram groups come easy. Following through on them in a court of law is almost impossible.

Do you think investors should be able to sue ICOs that fail? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Twitter.


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The post Disgruntled ICO Investors Threaten to Bring in the Crypto Lawyers appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Ford ‘accepts’ request to tell her side of alleged Kavanaugh assault; lawyers request Thursday hearing

September 23, 2018 |

Christine Blasey Ford on Saturday said she accepts the Senate Judiciary Committee’s request to discuss an alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, although the details about the time and format were not clear.
FOX News

Ford ‘accepts’ request to testify about alleged Kavanaugh assault; lawyers request Thursday hearing

September 22, 2018 |

Christine Blasey Ford on Saturday said she accepts the Senate Judiciary Committee’s request to testify about an alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, although the details about the time and format were not clear.
FOX News

Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford demands ‘full investigation’ by FBI before testifying, in letter from her lawyers

September 19, 2018 |

Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor claiming Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than 35 years ago, late Tuesday demanded a “full investigation” by the FBI before she will attend any congressional hearing or “interrogation” into her accusations.
FOX News

Chinese Billionaire Denies Wrongdoing in Sex Misconduct Arrest, His Lawyers Say

September 3, 2018 |

JD.com Chief Executive Liu Qiangdong denies any wrongdoing in connection with his arrest on suspicion of sexual misconduct in Minneapolis, and it’s likely no charges will be filed, his attorneys said.
WSJ.com: US Business

Cheetos Lawyers Up Against Peatos

August 21, 2018 |

They’re orange, and they’re called Peatos. The takeoff on Cheetos is unmistakable, and the snack behemoth isn’t happy about it. The Wall Street Journal reports that Cheetos maker Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, has sent a cease-and-desist letter to World Peas Brand Peatos . The Cheetos lawyers say Peatos, made of…
Newser

Sentence for Doctor Guilty of Raping Patient Stuns Lawyers

August 20, 2018 |

A former doctor in Houston found guilty of raping a sedated patient receiving treatment for a severe asthma attack doesn’t have to serve a day in prison, a jury decided Friday. Shafeeq Sheikh was instead sentenced to 10 years’ probation for the 2013 assault at Ben Taub hospital, the Houston…
Newser

Trump’s Lawyers Send Mueller a Counteroffer

August 8, 2018 |

“This should be over by September 1st,” said Rudy Giuliani in reference to negotiations over a possible interview between President Trump and special counsel Robert Mueller. “We have now given him an answer, he obviously he should take a few days to consider it, but we should get this resolved,…
Newser

Colin Kaepernick’s Lawyers Seeking to Subpoena Trump

June 7, 2018 |

Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the NFL is expected to reach all the way to the White House as the quarterback and his lawyers prepare to seek federal subpoenas to compel the testimony of President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and others, according to Yahoo Sports . Kaepernick filed a grievance…
Newser

Trump Lawyers: President Can’t Impede Justice, Because He Is Justice

June 3, 2018 |

Another day, another leak related to President Trump—and this one’s a biggy. A 20-page letter acquired by the New York Times reveals that Trump’s lawyers are making a novel Constitutional argument in an attempt to stave off questioning by Robert Mueller. The special counsel can’t force Trump to talk…
Newser