Judge Mulls Whether Initial Coin Offerings Are Securities

By Dunstan Prial (May 8, 2018, 8:19 PM EDT) -- A Brooklyn federal judge on Tuesday heard two starkly different takes on whether digital tokens issued in an allegedly fraudulent initial coin offering were securities subject to regulation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the first time the contentious argument has been put before a federal court.

Maksim Zaslavskiy, who was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly making fraudulent statements to lure in ICO investors and faces a parallel SEC civil suit, is seeking to have the case dismissed on the grounds the indictment was based on the government's erroneous contention that his coins are securities. A...

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