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Floyd Mayweather, DJ Khaled Charged by SEC for ICO Promotion

  • The celebrities promoted multiple ICOs last year, receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange, according to the SEC
  • After asking to be called “Floyd Crypto Mayweather” in a tweet, the boxer is now banned from ICO promotion for three years, per reports
  • SEC appears to apply federal securities laws to ICO disclosures

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has pursued legal actions against professional boxer Floyd Mayweather and professional name-dropper DJ Khaled due to their undisclosed payments for promoting ICOs.

According to a press release on the SEC’s website, the SEC has settled charges with the pair “for failing to disclose payments they received for promoting investments in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).” The two both received undisclosed amounts of cash from several ICOs, but the release noted that they were involved with Centra Tech Inc. specifically, which paid Mayweather and Khaled $100,000 and $50,000 respectively.

Khaled publicly referred to Centra’s ICO launch on Twitter as a “game changer,” while Mayweather told his own Twitter followers that Centra’s ICO would start in a few hours and to “get yours before they sell out.”

“You can call me Floyd Crypto Mayweather from now on,” the professional boxer tweeted, after receiving promotional payments that the SEC believes to have totalled $200,000 from another ICO. These transactions came after the SEC publicly announced that it would hold ICO peddlers to the standards of federal securities laws.

Both Mayweather and Khaled elected to settle these cases with the SEC rather than take them to court, “without admitting or denying the findings,” according to the press release. In addition to paying sums in proportion to the respective amounts of money they made from these advertisements, Mayweather had to accept a ban from all securities promotions for three years, and Khaled for two years.

Although the judicial system has recently shown some leniency in treating ICOs unlike securities under SEC standards, some ICOs are still clearly being treated as if they were any other straightforward investment. Clearly, celebrities and other public figures should be wary of publicly endorsing certain companies as get-rich-quick schemes, lest they similarly find themselves at the crosshairs of federal scrutiny.

State Farm Is Testing a Blockchain-Based Subrogation Manager

State Farm announced on December 10 that it is experimenting with a blockchain-based solution for managing the subrogation process in the insurance industry, making the company the latest major enterprise to explore blockchain technology.

LinkedIn Finds Blockchain Developer to Be 2018’s Most Rapidly Growing Job

Distributed Summary:

  • In 2018 U.S. Emerging Jobs Report, LinkedIn says blockchain developer hiring grew by 33x
  • Top skills required for the position include Solidity, Node.js, Ethereum and cryptocurrency
  • IBM, ConsenSys and Chainyard are top hirers for the position and SF, NY and ATL the top locations

U.S. Congressman Suggests “Do Blockchain” and “Wall Coins” to Fund Border Wall

Distributed Summary:

  • Ohio State Representative Warren Davidson throws out blockchain-based fundraising to construct wall between U.S. and Mexico border
  • Floats the cryptocurrency name “wall coin” in seemingly offhand remark
  • Demonstrates awareness, if not sophisticated understanding, of blockchain-based fundraising and incentivization

BlockFi, a Cryptocurrency Lending Firm With Credit Card Plans, Receives Funding From Fidelity and Mike Novogratz

Financial services behemoth Fidelity Investments and perennial crypto booster Mike Novogratz have provided funding for BlockFi, a cryptocurrency lending startup.