Kik received a notice from SEC stating that the platform had violated securities law, but the company replied questioning the SEC’s motives for “unjustifiably” targeting a company that “made substantial efforts in good faith to comply with all existing laws and regulations when selling Kin in September 2017”. The reply also states that Kik and the Kin Foundation are “prepared to litigate and are confident that they will prevail in court”.
The overall number of ICOs released into the crypto wilds has fallen drastically in recent months, with many organizations fearing similar repercussions to those felt by Kik. This potential court battle could have a major bearing on the cryptocurrency industry. Livingston said in a recent Medium blog post that he believed, along with many others, that “this industry needs regulation”. He also went on to say that SEC’s classification of kins as an unregistered security was “not the way to get it”. According to Livingston, “dozens of projects” are at a similar crossroads with the SEC, so there is no doubt that there will be a tipping point for the crypto sector in 2019.
The crypto industry is currently holding its collective breath regarding the future of ICOs. Its destiny rests on SEC staff determining whether or not to recommend to authorize a case against Kik with the SEC commissioners. One argument in Kik’s favor is that the SEC’s chairman, Jay Clayton, admitted in February 2018 that “every ICO [he’s] seen is a security”. Clayton added that he was keen to “go back to separating ICOs and cryptocurrencies”, with a clear vision of “regulating them like we regulate securities offerings”.
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