Philippines Securities Regulator Orders Halt to ICO

The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission hit KropCoin with a cease-and-desist order, on the grounds it was offering unregistered securities.

AccessTimeIconJan 26, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:29 a.m. UTC
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The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission filed a cease-and-desist order against four companies and an operator running an initial coin offering (ICO), citing securities registration regulations, a newly released document reveals.

The order, dated Jan. 9, 2018 and posted on the agency's website today, cites four affiliated companies – Black Cell Technology Inc., Black Sands Capital Inc., Black Cell Technology Limited and Krops – as operators of the KropCoin token sale, claiming to sell "the world’s first agriculture marketplace crypto equity ICO."

The document also identifies Filipino resident Joseph Calata as a founder or executive for all four companies.

All four of the companies declare their affiliation with the KropCoin token, which the filing notes is built on the ethereum network.

While ICOs are not regulated within the country, the SEC’s Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD) claims that "there is substantial evidence that [the companies] are selling or offering securities in the form of KROPS Tokens and/or Kropcoins to the public, in the Philippines, without the necessary license from the Commission."

The EIPD filing notes that the four companies have five days to file an appeal of the order, and can have a hearing within 15 days if they do. The SEC then has a further 10 days to resolve or reject the appeal; otherwise the cease-and-desist will be automatically lifted.

Calata and the four companies may be able to resume the token sale if they register with the SEC and receive a license to sell securities in the country.

Filipino flag image via Shutterstock

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