Joseph Grundfest, currently a Professor of Law at Stanford University and former commissioner for the Securities and Exchange Commission, believes that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) represent a fundamental violation of the securities law and that they require regulation urgently. So convinced of his views, he contacted the commission himself to pursue this:
“ICOs represent the most pervasive, open and notorious violation of federal securities laws since the Code of Hammurabi… We’re waiting to see a whole bunch of enforcement actions in this space, and we wonder why they haven’t happened yet. I hope what they are doing is planning on a sweep of 50 ICOs.”
Current state of affairs
The SEC has taken some steps against fraudulent offerings and other massive players in the blockchain industry, such as China, have strictly forbidden ICOs or warned against them. SEC’s only noticeable step forward was coming out with statements regarding the DAO.
ICOs have been notoriously known, adopted and then avoided during 2017 as they have generated a whooping amount of $3 billion in investments, some of which have been complete scams that left investors with significant losses. Consequently, there is a tendency within governments to start cracking down on these ICOs and start enforcing certain regulations.
Nevertheless, at the moment the cryptocurrency market is booming, with a market cap of over $300 billion dollars and the bitcoin value avidly approaching the $10.000 target. According to Nawid Habib, founder of the ICO HeadStart:
“Over 70 percent of people do not believe in centralized institutions and the establishment as we know it. On top of that, the current financial institutions do not (want to) understand the possibilities of Blockchain in general while the mentioned 70 percent of the people actually are starting to understand and engage. These high demands and investments into cryptocurrencies are likely to be driven by infinite possibilities of Blockchain such as decentralization, smart contracts and unparalleled returns.The decentralized nature along with anonymity and freedom, coupled with little to no fees is what attracts most loyalists.”