Swiss Markets Authority Investigates Troubled $100 Million ICO

Nikhilesh De
Jul 26, 2018 at 14:00 UTC
Updated Jul 26, 2018 at 14:01 UTC
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The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) announced Thursday that it is investigating blockchain startup Envion AG for potentially breaking financial market rules with its initial coin offering (ICO).

Envion, which raised $100 million in the ICO earlier this year, has allegedly broken banking laws by accepting public deposits in exchange for its EVN token, despite such transactions not being allowed, according to a FINMA press release.

The regulator states:

“Investigations carried out by FINMA to date indicate that, in the context of its ICO, envion AG accepted funds amounting to approximately one hundred million francs from more than 30,000 investors in return for issuing EVN tokens in a bond-like form.”

The enforcement proceedings are not the only setback for the startup, which has been in limbo for months after its executives began accusing each other of wrongdoing.

The New York Times reported in May that the firm’s chief executive, Matthias Woestmann, had claimed that the founders generated extra EVN tokens as part of a money grab. The founders, on the other hand, claimed that Woestmann had seized control of the firm and breached his contract.

Swiss flag image via Shutterstock