Blockchain startup ShipChain has been hit with a cease-and-desist order from the South Carolina Attorney General's Office, which claimed the company violated the state's securities statutes.
The state's Securities Commissioner said in an order issued Monday that ShipChain offered what amounts to an investment contract by way of its token, which is "the only medium of exchange on the platform."
The order stated:
The order – if finalized – would bar ShipChain from "transacting business" and "from participating in any aspect of the securities industry in or from the State of South Carolina." The startup has 30 days to request a hearing on the matter, where it may argue that its token sales do not qualify as an unregistered securities offering.
A request for comment was not immediately returned by ShipChain. However, the startup acknowledged the order on Twitter and said it was working on a formal response.
ShipChain's publicly traded token saw a steep drop in value on Tuesday, and as of press time is trading at $0.065 – down 39 percent compared to yesterday – according to data from CoinMarketCap.
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