After a one month undercover sting of crypto-currency startup DavorCoin, the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) issued another cease-and-desist letter, ordering the cryptocurrency company to stop all operations in the state immediately; this is the state’s fourth emergency cease-and-desist in just one month regulating cryptocurrency companies.
Jason Rotunda, director of enforcement division at the TSSB told CNBC, “We confirmed our suspicion that they were being marketed toward retirees. [DavorCoin] was not disclosing the information that needs to be disclosed to an investor.”
Other cryptocurrencies being issued cease-and-desists include companies r2b coin, BitConnect, and USI-Tech Limited. All of these companies either were promising implausible or impossible returns on investment, low risk investments coming from Bitcoin mining–without the evidence to back it up, or not disclosing information required by state law.
After the TSSB pulled the plug on BitConnect, they started their investigation of DavorCoin for promising extremely similar ROI. DavorCoin also has another strike against it, a potentially more serious one: Investment fraud. DavorCoin, according to CoinDesk, has “intentionally hidden material information of its business–including its principles and business location, as well as how it plans to realize investment promises for investors.”
The lack of transparency on not just the basic information regarding the business itself, but also an investor disbursement plan violates sections of the Texas Securities Act.
Texas currently is leading the way regarding the regulation of cryptocurrenty investment opportunities, in which other states as well as the federal government are following suit. Other states filing formal complaints against cryptocurrency companies include Florida, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Kansas.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is taking note of the heightened amount of activity surrounding cryptocurrencies as well. Rotunda, also in his role as the vice chair of North American Securities Administrators Association, is trying to encourage regulatory agencies to adapt to this new way of doing business and investing.
“In both of those roles we’ve been monitoring cryptocurrencies quite a bit,” said Rotunda. “I think what we’re doing right now is we’re adapting to a new way of selling securities.”
The old adage is, after all, “don’t mess with Texas.” Especially when it comes to potentially defrauding investors through cryptocurrencies — but that’s kind of a mouthful.