EOS Maker Block.One Settles With SEC Over Unregistered Securities Sale

Block.One will pay $24 million after settling charges that it operated an unregistered securities sale with its $4.1 billion EOS raise.

AccessTimeIconSep 30, 2019 at 10:54 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. UTC
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EOS maker Block.One must pay $24 million in penalties for conducting an unregistered securities sale, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Monday evening.

The SEC said in a press release that Block.One “raised the equivalent of several billion dollars” over a one-year period in an unregistered initial coin offering (ICO). (A total of $4.1 billion was raised.) Block.One agreed to settle the charges, according to the SEC.

The fine amounts to 0.58 percent of the initial raise.

Notably, the press release highlighted that Block.One’s token sale began shortly before the SEC released its DAO Report but “continued for nearly a year after the report’s publication.” The company did not secure an exemption from securities registration requirements and did not otherwise register the sale, the SEC said.

In its own press release, Block.One said the settlement only applies to the sale of the original ERC-20 token it sold. EOS holders swapped their ethereum-based tokens with the proper EOS tokens when the network first went live.

More significantly, Block.One's statement said that its ERC-20 token is no longer in circulation "and will not require the token to be registered as a security with the SEC."

The release added:

"The SEC has simultaneously granted Block.one an important waiver so that Block.one will not be subject to certain ongoing restrictions that would usually apply with settlements of this type. Block.one believes the SEC’s granting of this waiver evidences Block.one’s continuing commitment to compliance and best practices in the United States and globally."

Block.One declined to comment further to CoinDesk.

In a statement, SEC Division of Enforcement co-director Steven Peikin said the company “did not provide” investors with any of the information typically included in securities sales. The SEC's order echoes this complaint.

In June, Block.One announced the creation of a decentralized social network called Voice. Subsequent details on the launch of Voice, which also runs on the EOS network, have been sparse. As CoinDesk previously reported, the EOS blockchain has faced governance challenges in recent months.

Just last week, the commonwealth of Virginia gave Block.One a $600,000 grant to help build out its U.S. headquarters in Arlington, a suburb of Washington, D.C. The company has existing operations in Blacksburg, Va., as well as a major hub in Hong Kong.

According to the SEC press release, Block.One did not admit to or deny the regulator’s findings in deciding to settle.

Brady Dale contributed reporting.

CEO Brendan Blumer image via Block.One


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