Regulator issues subpoenas to parties engaged in booming market for initial coin offerings
The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued dozens of subpoenas and information requests to technology companies and advisers involved in the red-hot market for cryptocurrencies, according to people familiar with the matter.
The sweeping probe significantly ratchets up the regulatory pressure on the multibillion-dollar U.S. market for raising funds in cryptocurrencies. It follows a series of warning shots from the top U.S. securities regulator suggesting that many token sales, or initial coin offerings, may be violating securities laws.
The wave of subpoenas includes demands for information about the structure for sales and pre-sales of the ICOs, which aren’t bound by the same rigorous rules that govern public offerings, according to the people familiar with the matter. Companies use coin offerings to raise money for everything from file-sharing technology to pet passports.
A spokesman for the SEC declined to comment.