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Startup Kik spent $ 5 million on “negotiations” with the SEC

CEO Kik startup (messenger) Ted Livingston said that the company has already spent over $ 5 million to negotiate with the US SEC, reports CoinDesk.

Historical note: a Canadian startup in 2017 raised $ 97 million. SEC regarded the sale of Kik tokens as a violation of the securities law, and in November 2018 presented Wells Notice to the company — which must be answered within 30 days. In early January 2019, the project organizers officially expressed their readiness to prove in court that Kik tokens are not securities.

Livingston says the company has spent a lot of time and money on interaction with the SEC and a trip to Washington.

Not surprisingly, with this approach, ICO projects leave the United States. According to the CoinShedule analytical service, the United Arab Emirates ranked first in terms of the amount of attracted investments through ICO since the beginning of 2019. That is, they took the palm of leadership from the United States. An interesting fact is that the UAE could overtake the United States on this indicator, although in 2018 they were not even among the top ten.
he weekly digest of ICO (from May 20 to May 26, 2019)

🔸 Bitfinex Crypto Exchange announced the launch of its own IEO platform called Tokinex. To beat the competition, Tokinex will not charge listing fees for blockchain projects. The first exchange placement on the platform will take place on June 13.

🔸 Reload 2.0: the notorious 2018 scam project BitConnect is preparing to re-enter the market on July 1. This is evidenced by the created account on Twitter. An interesting fact is that the domain name of the site expires two weeks before the promised launch date. Be carefull!

Mat Matic cryptocurrency (IEO on Binance Launchpad) broke into the TOP-10 cryptocurrency in terms of daily trading (stepping over the mark of $ 250 million). The token grew by 75% per day and took the 72nd place in the ranking according to CoinMarketCap.

🔸 TransferWise (money transfer service) raised $ 292 million during the second round of financing. The representative of TransferWise said that the company does not plan to conduct an IPO in the near future, since there are enough funds for product development.
The weekly digest of ICO (from 27.05 to 02.06.2019)

🔸 On May 28, IE launched the Harmony project on the Binance cryptographic platform. Sale of tokens was held in the lottery format. Of the total number of lottery tickets (54076), 16,666 turned out to be winning, 1.58 billion Harmony (ONE) tokens were distributed.

🔸 ASIC (Australian regulator) warned the public about the alleged scam of the OneCoin project. The commission advised not to deal with a crypto project because it was not registered in Australia. The project has not received two major licenses: the provision of financial services and a license to issue loans.

Bit Bitbond peer-to-peer business lending platform launches STO. This is the first STO that has been approved by the German regulator. The company plans to raise $ 3.9 million, which will allow it to continue to provide loans to small businesses operating in the field of electronic commerce.

🔸 During the report of the Central Bank of Russia for the past year in the State Duma, the head of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina said that the bank is against the legalization of cryptocurrency as a method of payment because of their volatility. Last year, Nabiullina “predicted” that the “fascination” with cryptocurrency came to a logical end because of a bearish market sentiment. As you can see, the forecast did not come true, but Nabiullina repeated all the same arguments during her report.
Within SPIEF 2019, blockchain industry leaders discussed recent trends in the cryptocurrency market and ways of building new generation investment portfolios.
Ted Lin (Binance) and Chris Lee (Huobi) pointed out the lasting increase in the number of investors following the current positive trends in the cryptocurrency market. The projections mentioning lasting growth of cryptocurrency investments also sound promising. Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum creator, announced the upcoming changes in one of the most popular cryptocurrencies of the new time. He offered a new type of contracts for Ethereum 2.0. As a part of discussing the trends in assets digitalization, Gary Ng, CEO of the Chinese blockchain platform VINCI Blockchain (they recently issued the cryptocurrency of the same name), announced the launch of VINCI messenger which can be used for cryptocurrency transfers and everyday communication. The ideas to integrate Telegram messenger with crypto tools were discussed recently but no official statements and app releases followed. Thus, Telegram may soon have a new competitor.
The weekly digest of ICO (from 03.06 to 09.06.2019)

🔸 Upon completion of the IEO price of the ONE (Harmony Protocol) token, increased by 800%. ONE has shown an increase in prices since it began trading on Binance and Binance DEX. So its price has increased by 8-9 times in comparison with the cost of IEO.

🔸 LATOKEN (Tokenized Asset Exchange), with the participation of the broker-dealer Monarch, will launch the IEO platform in the USA. Under this agreement, startups (with the exception of US projects) can raise funds through the Security Initial Exchange Offering (SIEO) with registration on Form D at the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

🔸 Continuing battles between Kik and SEC: the latter sued a startup that conducted a fundraising campaign in 2017.

🔸 Blockport cryptographic bankruptcy filed after the STO offer ended unsuccessfully in May. The exchange has promised to return all investors participating in STO, their funds. Despite this, the site plans to resume its activities later.

🔸 Harmony integrates with Chainlink oracle service provider. As a result of the announced partnership, both projects grew by 20% over the day.
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The weekly digest of ICO (from June 10 to June 16, 2019)

🔸 On June 10, the tokens of the Nebulas startup (search engine on the blockchain) increased in price by 50% per day, the cost reached $ 1.83. The price of the coin showed a sharp rise due to the statement by the founder of the startup that Nebulas is preparing to expand the ecosystem. For this project bought its own tokens worth $ 10 million in the secondary market. But despite the sharp rise in the exchange rate, the token could not kill the initial cost during the ICO - $ 2.

🔸 According to the Trade Block data, from January to May 2019, with the help of 63 IEO spent, about $ 518 million were attracted.

🔸 TokenStore smart wallet website has closed and blocked withdrawals. According to law enforcement agencies, the project attracted investors due to aggressive advertising and the promise of a large passive income, but in fact it was a Ponzi scheme. According to preliminary estimates, 2100 investors were victims, although there were about 800 thousand registered users on TokenStore

🔸 The Lithuanian Cabinet of Ministers introduced amendments and additions to the bill on the prevention of money laundering and terrorism, which also touched the ICO. According to the updated legislation, now the organizers of the ICO are obliged to identify the identity of the potential investor if the amount of his contribution exceeds 3 thousand euros.

Bit Bitfinex Exchange announced the successful completion of the IEO project Ampleforth, which was held on the new platform of its sister exchange Ethfinex - Tokinex. IEO participants in the comments claim that the sale of the token ended 2 seconds after the start. The exchange itself reports that the round lasted 11 seconds. Moreover, shortly before the start of the campaign, Ethfinex lowered the maximum amount of investment from $ 10 thousand to $ 5 thousand, in order to allow more people to participate.

🔸 Raven Protocol will be the first project launched on the decentralized Binance DEX exchange. This will be the first IEO on the account of the exchange, which will be held at the end of this month.
A leading U.S. House lawmaker on Tuesday called on Facebook Inc to halt development on its new cryptocurrency and for company executives to testify before Congress, adding to global concerns about what the digital currency could mean for data privacy and security. A Facebook representative said the company looked forward to answering lawmakers’ questions. Facebook has engaged with regulators in the United States and abroad about the planned cryptocurrency, company executives said.

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The weekly digest of ICO (from June 24 to June 30, 2019)

🔸 The New York Times: Libra partners doubt a crypto project because of the uncertainty of regulators. 7 of the 27 partners joined the project on conditions that they would not need to promote the project or use its token. They also reserved the right to withdraw from the project in case something goes wrong. Scammers, too, are not asleep, phishing sites have already appeared, very similar to the original Libra site.

🔸 Coin Drop Markets (CDM) financial pyramid organizer Patrick McDonnell, who deceived investors and appropriated almost $ 200 thousand, pleaded guilty in a courtroom in New York and can now be sentenced to 20 years in prison.

🔸 Cryptocurrency fraudsters in China turned a $ 4.6 million scam, posing as Huobi Global employees. They created Huobi's cryptobirds group in Telegram, where they offered to transfer ETH to a specific wallet in exchange for the Huobi HT token at a ratio of 1: 105 (about 30% of profit at current prices).

🔸 Ukrainian cryptobirth Kuna launched the service of instant purchase of cryptocurrency without the need to log into the account, and also introduced a new tool to replenish balance sheets on the exchange. Now to buy a cryptocurrency will be enough to have a cryptographic wallet. According to the founder, the service is aimed at customers who value their time and comfort.
The weekly digest of ICO (from July 01 to July 7, 2019)

🔸 Grand HYIP raised around the Libra project. Banking conglomerates and officials of many countries came out in a united front against the project. Immediately, 5 US congressmen sent an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg asking to halt the development of cryptocurrency. Russia decided to limit, but not prohibit Libra, classifying it as a foreign currency.

🔸 According to the report of Outlier Ventures, blockchain-startups attracted $ 822 million in the first 6 months of 2019. The amount received as a result of 279 venture capital transactions, of which 159 were associated with the provision of initial funding.

🔸 On July 2, the successful IEO Erlond was held at Binance, as a result of which $ 3.25 million was collected. Token Sale was held in a lottery format and only 11% of the 98 thousand participants were able to receive ERD coins. After listing Binance Erlond price increased by 12 times.

🔸 The Brazilian bank BTG Pactual, in partnership with the asset management company Dalma Capital from Dubai, is planning to spend $ 1 billion on the Tezos blockchain. Dalma Capital plans to continue to use Tezos as part of a variety of tokenization projects, starting with real estate and ending with sports clubs.
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The weekly digest of ICO (from July 8 to July 14, 2019)

🔸 On July 8, Gate [.] Io, on its Startup platform, conducted IEO of the VidyCoin project (VIDY). Due to the fact that the demand for tokens 6.75 times exceeded the supply, investors will receive only 14.7% of their bids.

🔸 Bitfinex Crypto Exchange conducts an expansion of the program to purchase its own tokens UNUS SED LEO. Now the exchange will buy out cryptocurrency not only because of its total income, but also at the expense of the commission it receives for the operations of traders on its platform. But soon the New York City Prosecutor’s Office reiterated accusations against Bitfinex and Tether.

🔸 SEC and FINRA commented on the reasons for the delay in issuing broker-dealer licenses to companies related to digital assets and argued their concerns about the need to settle a number of legal norms.

🔸 Startup Torus (software solutions for managing private keys), on July 9, attracted $ 2 million from such venture capital giants as Multicoin Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Sixth Horizon, Accomplice, Terminal, as well as from the business incubator Binance Labs. The latter invested $ 500 thousand.
Historical background: in September 2018, Torus attracted an undisclosed amount of investment from Binance Labs.

🔸 Unheard of generosity. For the first time, the SEC approved a digital token proposal in accordance with its Reg A + rules. The pioneer was the Blockstack project, which will hold a token of $ 28 million. And literally the next day, another project, Props, received permission from the regulator.

🔸 Crypto Exchange EXMO will conduct a closed round of its own exchange token EXMO Coin (EXM). Token holders can save on trade commissions, receive increased referral payments and much more.
The weekly digest of ICO (from July 15 to July 21, 2019)

🔸 On July 17, CoinFLEX announced the IFO (initial futures offer) of the Polkadot project.

🔸 Platform NovaChain (passive earnings on trading bots), suspected in exit-scam. The project has dramatically stopped working site and social networks.

🔸 According to CB Insights report, this year investment in the crypto and blockchain industry may decrease by 61%. Since the beginning of the year, 227 transactions worth $ 784 million were concluded. If this trend continues until the end of the year, the amount will be about $ 1.6 billion. While in 2018, startups attracted $ 4.1 billion in venture capital investments.

🔸 The French regulator (AMF) will approve the first group of crypto companies under the new rules, reports Reuters.

🔸 CoinGecko published a cryptocurrency market report for the II quarter of 2019, according to which the number of IEOs is growing, and for the first half of the current year, $ 262 million from 72 projects were attracted. According to the study, approximately 50% of the funds from IEO were in the top five largest cryptobirth: Gate [.] Io ($ 47.6 million), Binance ($ 27.2 million), OKEx ($ 24.3 million), Huobi ($ 22.7 million) and Bittrex ($ 16.9 million).
ICO Weekly Digest (from 07.22 to 07.28.2019)

🔸 According to the Positive Technologies report: over 70% of smart contracts are vulnerable to hacker attacks. According to analysts, introducing blockchain technology into the banking system at this stage is too dangerous.

🔸 The State Duma of the Russian Federation in the third reading adopted the law “On crowdfunding”. The law limits the amount of investments from unqualified investors to not more than 600 thousand per year.

🔸 BaFin (the German regulator) approved the token sale of the Berlin blockchain startup Fundament Group, which plans to attract investments of $ 250 million euros. The US SEC was also not indebted and approved the release of Pocketful of Quarters (PoQ) game startup tokens, recognizing that they are not securities. Which, however, did not prevent the regulator from putting forward a number of requirements for the project.

🔸 Shanghai-based company The9 Ltd, which is engaged in the development of online games, in its reporting indicated participation in the ICO Telegram. And the Zuckerberg project again surprised the public. The head of Visa, Alfred Kelly, said that not one of the announced 27 partner companies has officially entered into agreements with Facebook. Kelly said Visa signed a letter of intent to join Libra, which does not oblige the company.

🔸 July 30, the US Senate plans to do a comprehensive study of the regulatory field of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. According to US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, a set of rules for cryptocurrencies will be developed to avoid their negative impact on the country's financial system. At the same time, one of the most stringent US regulators, NYDFS is creating a new unit to oversee the cryptocurrency industry.

🔸 Despite the fact that the Bitfinex exchange imposed a ban on the purchase of LEO tokens to US residents, some investors managed to get around it and purchase coins using a third party.
ICO Weekly Digest (from 07.29 to 08.04.2019)

Июля July 28 at the EXMO cryptocurrency exchange, the closed round of sales of the EXMO Coin native token was successfully completed. It sold 352,941,177 EXM.

🔸 The investment company US Capital Global, announced the launch of a tokenized venture capital fund and intends to sell tokens in the amount of $ 10 million. According to a press release, investments will be available only to accredited investors. The proceeds from the sale of tokens will be directed to invest in cryptocurrencies without intermediaries.

🔸 The British financial regulator FCA has published a guide to tokens and securities, which explained the security and utility tokens. And the trading of cryptocurrencies BTC and ETH remains without supervision by the FCA, and should only comply with KYC rules.

🔸 OKEx Exchange has announced the details of the next IEO Echoin, which starts on August 8. Echoin is creating a blockchain for the energy sector and plans to raise financing of up to $ 2 million during IEO. IEO will be held on the OK Jumpstart platform, the campaign will be held in two rounds.

🔸 US SEC plans to outsource monitoring of blockchain networks. The data that the regulator wants to receive from the supplier should include hashing algorithms and power, the number and size of transactions, as well as information analysis.

🔸 The latest IEO WINk, which took place on the Binance Launchpad, provided 800% revenue. The WIN token started trading with 0.00000009 BTC, the price during IEO was 0.00000001 BTC.
ICO Weekly Digest (from 08.19 to 08.25.2019)

🔸 Good news about the blockchain platform of the Telegram messenger. A credible source reported a high degree of readiness for the project and a possible release of the Telegram Open Network code before September 1.

Circle Circle cryptocurrency company, which owns the famous Poloniex exchange, has announced the search for investors for $ 100 million for its crowdfunding platform SeedInvest. The leading Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck also became interested in tokensales. The exchange said in a statement that only projects with utility tokens will be allowed in IEO.

🔸 The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fined the Russian analytical company ICORating $ 268,998 for advertising ICO projects that violated the legislation on the issue of securities in 2017-2018.

🔸 It is established that the PlusToken Chinese crypto pyramid, which in terms of the scale of investors' losses exceeds BitConnect and OneCoin, withdrew 48% of the funds attracted to ETH through the Huobi exchange. Also, scammers cashed in ether through the sites ZB [.] Com, Upbit, OKEx and Gate [.] Io.

🔸 The German financial regulator (BaFin) has already issued the second STO permit, and this time the company from Luxembourg Black Manta Capital Partners was lucky. Tokensale is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of this year.
Weekly ICO digest (from 26.08 to 1.09.2019)

🔸 US SEC obligated to return funds ICO-project Bitqyck Inc, the founders of which are accused of selling unregistered securities securities and exchange management without a license. Now the project should return $ 8.37 million, and its co-founders Bruce Biz and Sam Mendes will pay $ 890 254 and $ 850 022 fine.

🔸 The topic of the week was the Telegram ICO, because it is presumably one month left before the release:
- The New York Times announced the imminent launch of the blockchain from Pavel Durov.
- Forbes wrote about the possibility of testing transactions with the Gram cryptocurrency in the Button Wallet wallet.
- CoinDesk talked about the future compatibility of the Telegram Open Network and the Ethereum blockchain.

🔸 The Perlin IEO project was successfully completed at the Binance Launchpad, during which $ 6.7 million was raised. But most investors were not able to purchase PERL tokens and were extremely dissatisfied with the trading system. We discussed this issue here
ICO Weekly Digest (from September 9 to September 15, 2019)

🔸 Representatives of the famous cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase during the Invest: Asia conference in Singapore hinted at plans to launch an IEO platform and issue a branded token.

🔸 The Stellar Development Foundation announced an airdrop of 2 billion XLM for users of the Keybase messenger, which Stellar cryptocurrency developers supported even at the ICO stage 💰

🔸 An incomprehensible story with the Chinese blockchain startup GXChain. The network reported searches in their office and interrogation of the leadership of the police, after which the rate of their token fell by 25%. The project itself does not confirm or refute this news, and continues to post on Twitter as usual.

🔸 The Blockstack project conducted an ICO approved by the US SEC and raised $ 23 million. 4,500 individuals and legal entities took part in the token sale, American investors invested $ 15.5 million, the remaining money was given by Asian buyers.

🔸 The Australian ICO project Power Ledger, which is developing a blockchain for electricity trading, has announced the start of testing a P2P platform. After that, the price of their POWR token grew by almost 20% and then began to adjust.

🔸 The Spanish football team Atletico Madrid has joined the Socios [.] Com blockchain platform and will issue fan tokens in the fall ⚽️