Bitcoin Bull McAfee Quits ICO Work Owing to SEC Threats
Bitcoin bull and Initial Coin Offering (ICO) campaigner John McAfee has withdrawn from his work promoting ICOs online or offline, citing “threats” from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as the reason. The SEC’s regulatory grip is limited to investors within the United States, while ICOs can be conducted from within crypto-friendly locations and marketed to a global audience. Meanwhile, ICOs being deemed as securities could, in the end, be a positive sign, as they may attract more institutional capital.
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McAfee Lays Down Weapons
The notorious and controversial cryptocurrency advocate’s latest remarks indicate that he has laid down arms in his war against the SEC. The SEC has deemed ICOs as securities, yet as of now, most are not registered as securities with the SEC. Individuals endorsing unregistered securities could face arrest.
Responding to a Twitter user that requested his assistance in choosing the next best ICO for investment, McAfee tweeted:
Due to SEC threats, I am no longer working with ICOs nor am I recommending them, and those doing ICOs can all look forward to arrest. It is unjust but it is reality. I am writing an article on an equivalent alternative to ICOs which the SEC cannot touch. Please have Patience.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) June 19, 2018
McAfee did point out that he is working on an “ICO alternative” that could circumvent the SEC’s securities regulations. In an exclusive conversation with Bitsonline, the outspoken crypto proponent said:
“The head of the SEC announced last week that ALL ICOs would be considered as securities. Unless the ICO files with the SEC (hugely expensive and time consuming) then the ICO team would be committing an illegal act by proceeding.”
Lately, the McAfee vs SEC battle has witnessed heated arguments — mostly coming from McAfee — in regards to ICO tokens being deemed securities. McAfee’s decision to walk away is a marked about-face by the previously fierce SEC adversary. Just last week, McAfee tweeted:
"All ICOs are Securities"!
I will not now, nor will I ever, accept this as a reality. I am submitting, now, to this law, but I will fight with every last breath to ensure that this absurd overreach by the SEC will not stand!! It will not stand!https://t.co/7l2l8pryPh
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) June 14, 2018
The decisions to backpedal could also hurt McAfee’s back pocket. Not long ago, the McAfee team revealed that his fees to promote a crypto product or business were a whopping $105,000 USD per tweet. Surprisingly, the McAfee Crypto Team website that handles ICO promotion and offers white paper support remains operational.
Initial Coin Offerings as Securities – Good or Bad?
McAfee may not be happy with the SEC’s decision on ICOs, but many within the cryptoverse acknowledge the clarity on ICOs as a positive sign for the future of the crypto ecosystem. Last month, crypto trader Ran Neu-Ner stated that the United States would fall behind the curve if the SEC did not hasten its drawing up of ICO regulations. ICOs registered as securities could also attract funding from institutional investors, which until now were sitting on the sidelines, fearing a regulatory crackdown.
Many countries around the world, such as South Korea, have outlawed ICOs. This has not stopped crypto enthusiasts from launching projects from more accommodative jurisdictions. Countries such as Singapore operate as a launchpad for token sales. Even South Korea is contemplating a reversal of its ban on ICOs.
What’s your take? Is this a genuine about-face or is the crypto maverick just changing strategies? Share your views in the comments section below.
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