The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is taking action against a publicly traded venture capital firm in Florida that has issued its own cryptocurrency.
In a 7th June order, the top US securities regulator made public its attempts to suspend the trading of securities offering exposure to the company, called Sunshine Capital, citing "public interest" and the "protection of investors".
Of particular concern to the SEC was the value and liquidity of its 'dibcoin' cryptocurrency, launched last October, and the accuracy of statements describing the token and its related opportunities.
The order requested additional information about a petition filed by Sunshine Capital to terminate the trading suspension placed by the SEC in April on its stock listed in OTC markets.
The SEC has ordered that Sunshine Capital must file a brief by 23rd June.
The firm's claims
According to a press release and its manual, dibcoin was created by DIB Funding, the parent company of Sunshine Capital, as part of an effort to create a digital asset that could be used as a "dollar substitute" for real-world purchases.
As the company would intend to hold 5 billion dibcoins, this increase in capital was meant to help the company quickly acquire assets.
From the white paper:
"There are only 5 billion dibcoin available and the currency will immediately give Sunshine Capital, Inc massive buying power to make quick acquisitions that will give Sunshine Capital, Inc the ability to list on Nasdaq."
A quick glance at the company's marketing materials, however, raises some concerns.
Included in public statements are claims that a platform for trading dibcoin, called Livecoin.net, is the "fourth largest global cryptocurrency exchange", though this statement is inaccurate.
Further, statements appeared to indicate that the dibcoin launch may have been an attempt for Sunshine Capital to bolster its capital holdings.
"What the investment world needs to understand is that for every penny dibcoin trades at, it gives our Company approximately $40 million dollars in liquid assets," the company wrote in April.
Currently, according to coinmarketcap.com, dibcoin is traded on lesser-known exchanges including Crypto Dao, Livecoin and Crytopia.
Its price dropped in late April from around $1 to $0.10 a little over a week after the company was suspended from trading. It now trades at $0.1747 with a trading volume of $3,320 in the last 24 hours.
Yet, in response to our request for comment, Adam Petty, president and CEO of Sunshine Capital and DIB Funding, argued that the SEC's issue is with the "nature of the investment", and that it is a "crypto currency coin".
"If that was the case, then no matter what our answer was or what hoops we jumped through, the chance of the trade suspension being lifted was indeed low," Perry wrote.
Further, he vowed that the company will press forward with developing dibcoin as part of its broader business plan.
"Whether Sunshine Capital is a privately or publicly held company has no impact whatsoever on the success of dibcoin, nor has it changed our business plan," he said, concluding:
"We are still using dibcoin to buy private companies and other assets; and dibcoin will be used as a method of payment in retail outlets."
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