For months, the crypto industry has been anticipating that the SEC would start reining in companies that were crossing the line, especially with respect to initial coin offerings. Now, the agency’s view is starting to become clearer. On Friday, regulators said they reached an agreement with two companies they said conducted unregistered securities offerings through their ICOs. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the SEC was investigating another high-profile coin offering.
In today’s decision, two companies, Paragon and CarrierEQ, agreed to pay $250,000 each in penalties and offer their customers refunds if they still own the tokens or sold them at a loss. While the penalties aren’t insignificant, they are unlikely to be fatal: Paragon, for instance, raised $12 million in its token sale. If, as the Journal reports, these settlements could be a template to resolve other cases that didn’t involve fraud, that would be a pretty positive outcome for some other companies whose ICOs the SEC is now investigating.