A recent “analysis of 1,450 cryptocurrency offerings” published by the Wall Street Journal has claimed to have revealed “rampant plagiarism, identity theft, and promises of improbable returns.” In other ICO news, Bermuda’s parliament has passed regulations that will legitimize initial coin offerings as a means of fundraising, and Thailand’s SEC held a hearing regarding its upcoming ICO regulations.
Wall Street Journal Accuses 18.7% of ICOs of Fraudulent Activities
Of the 1,450 initial coin offerings (ICOs) recently examined by the Wall Street Journal(WSJ), 271 were purportedly found to be exhibiting “red flags” including “plagiarized investor documents, promises of guaranteed returns and missing or fake executive teams.”
Collectively, the 271 flagged offerings were estimated to have raised more than $1 billion USD from investors. So far, investors have “claimed losses of up to $273 million in these projects, according to lawsuits and regulatory actions.”
Of the flagged offerings, 111 are alleged to have “repeated entire sections word-for-word from other white papers” – including “descriptions of marketing plans, security issues and even distinct technical features such as how other programmers can interact with their database.”
The publication’s analysis was said to comprise “a review of company statements and online transaction records. WSJ added that “Some of the firms are still raising funds, while others have shut down.”
Bermuda Parliament Passes ICO Regulations
In recent weeks, Bermuda’s House of Assembly passed the Companies and Limited Liability Company (Initial Coin Offering) Amendment Act 2018 (ICO Act).
The Act, which will regulate and legitimize initial coin offerings as a means of fundraising, now awaits approval from Bermuda’s governor. The Premier of Bermuda, Edward David Burt, welcomes the legislation, stating “With this Bill, this government has chosen to be bold and take a significant step on the world stage.”
At Consensus 2018, a partnership was announced between the government of Bermuda and Shyft – which will provide digital identification services to the British Overseas Territory. “The Government of Bermuda has decided to lead the way and build interoperability into the legislation [to], in essence, approach regulatory frameworks with exportability in mind,” Premier Burt said.
Thai SEC Holds Focus Group on Cryptocurrency Regulations
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand held a focus group on cryptocurrency regulations that was streamed live via Facebook.
The hearing predominantly facilitated discussions relating to Thailand’s highly anticipated ICO regulations – with the discussions revealing that offerings will only be permitted to raise capital in the form of Thai baht of virtual currencies that are approved by the SEC. The SEC also indicated that companies seeking licensing to conduct ICOs must apply within 60 days.
The hearing comes approximately a week after Thailand’s regulatory apparatus for cryptocurrencies came into effect. A follow-up hearing is scheduled to occur on the 30th of May.
Do you think that initial coin offerings will become seen as a legitimate means of fundraising as more jurisdictions will seek to adopt ICO-friendly regulatory frameworks? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!