Ethereum's 2014 ICO raises doubts amid potential regulatory violations

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Ethereum's 2014 ICO raises doubts amid potential regulatory violations
Credit: © Reuters.

The initial coin offering (ICO) of Ethereum in 2014, which raised $18 million, is under scrutiny due to potential legal issues. Posts by Steven Nerayoff on X suggest that co-founders Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Lubin may have bypassed regulations with a document that Lubin claims provided legal clearance. This could have been an unconfirmed "no-action" letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or a paper by authors of “Is Bitcoin a Security?”.

Lawyer Bill Morgan's tweets raise questions about whether Ethereum received two exemptions from the SEC, one for the ICO and another linked to the 2018 Hinman speech. This could suggest that Ethereum avoided securities registration, which would pose a risk of it being an unregistered security. However, any alleged violations might be beyond the statute of limitations.

These speculations contradict Lubin's claims of guideline adherence and intensify the legal scrutiny surrounding Ethereum's upcoming transition. The co-founders have not yet responded to these allegations as of Wednesday.

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