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国际资讯监管与政策

2018年度SEC执法现状大盘点

国际资讯监管与政策

2018年度SEC执法现状大盘点

11月2日,美国证券交易委员会(SEC)的执法部门公布了2018财年的年度执法报告,其中提到了该部门针对欺诈性ICO产品所采取的行动。

根据该报告,自2017财年末成立网络部门以来,SEC一直在持续关注包括ICO在内的、与网络相关的不端行为,并且采取的措施稳步增多。SEC将此归因于被其视为高风险投资的加密资产产品的“爆炸式增长”。

报告表示:“在过去的一年里,该司已经开展了数十项涉及ICO和数字资产的调查,其中许多调查在2018财年结束时还正在进行。”

在2018财年,SEC提出了20起独立案件,其中就包含与加密货币及ICO相关的案件。而截至2018财年末,SEC执法部门已经进行了逾225次与网络有关的调查。此外,2018财年SEC所提出的罚款总额为39.4亿美元,其中30.4亿美元来自所有案件中前5%的大案。

该报告指出了几个非法的ICO产品,其中有三个欺骗投资者超过6800万美元:一家声称金融服务创业公司的创始人从数千名投资者处筹集了3200万美元;一家名为Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services的公司的总裁筹集了2100万美元;还有一家“惯犯”通过承诺每月13倍的投资回报筹集了1500万美元。

执法部门在报告中还提及了该机构为解决投资者保护问题而新组建的关键组织,例如零售策略专项工作组(RSTF)。

该报告还指出,在SEC施加的压力下,有数十家公司没有进一步尝试达到法律合规,而是“悄悄地同意”退还投资者的资金并支付罚金。

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Enforcement Division has released its annual enforcement report for the 2018 fiscal year (FY), Friday, Nov. 2. The report notes actions by the Division against fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

According to the report, since the formation of the Division’s Cyber Unit at the end of FY 2017, the commission’s focus on cyber-related misconduct, including ICOs, has been growing steadily. The SEC attributes this to an “explosion” in crypto-asset offerings, which it says are often considered high-risk investments. According to the report:

“In the past year, the Division has opened dozens of investigations involving ICOs and digital assets, many of which were ongoing at the close of FY 2018.”

The report notes several illicit ICOs, three of which defrauded investors of over $68 million: the cofounders of a purported financial services startup raised $32 million from thousands of investors, the “blockchain evangelist” president of Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services Inc. raised $21 million, while a “recidivist law violator” raised $15 million by promising a 13-fold monthly return on investments.

The Enforcement Division also noted new key formations in the agency to address investor protection, such as the Division’s Retail Strategy Task Force (RSTF). In turn, the RSTF has launched a lead-generation and referral initiative involving trade suspensions associated with the crypto and blockchain industries.

According to the report, the SEC ordered $3.94 billion in total penalties and disgorgement over FY 2018, $3.04 billion of which was ordered from the top five percent largest cases.

In October, Yahoo Finance and Decrypt Media released a joint report, claiming that the SEC has expanded its crackdown on ICOs, putting “hundreds” of projects at risk. Yahoo and Decrypto noted that there is still a lack of regulatory certainty in the space, and the agency “is not going to provide them.”

The report further states that, in response to SEC pressure, dozens of firms “quietly agreed” to refund investors’ money and pay fines, rather than attempt to reach a legal compliance.

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