In real life, there is no such thing as a “GET OUT OF JAIL FREE” card. Despite what has been said recently about the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), it is in your best interest to have a strong defense attorney on your side if you find your bitcoin operation under scrutiny by the SEC.
As reported by Bitcoinist, there has been a litany of settlements between ICOs and the SEC recently after the SEC ruled that ICOs are securities and shall be regulated accordingly. “The SEC is apparently going easy on ICOs who are cooperating, paying a fine, and returning the raised money to investors.” (Source: “SEC Tells ICOs: You’re Forgiven If You Cooperate And Pay The Fine“, Bitcoinist)
Fortune reports that the settlement deals reached with ICO projects involve offerings of tokens that are deemed to be securities. Some of those settlements were reached without even requiring a fine (“Fess Up: SEC Goes Easy on Cryptocurrency Companies That Cooperate“, Fortune).
While the thought of being granted a light slap on the wrist and moving on with your plans sounds nice, it is not guaranteed to be the reality. Ultimately, your fate may be left to the whims of an individual regulator or investigator assigned to your case. If your ICO is being scrutinized by the SEC, it is crucial to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
The most effective way to prepare for the worst is to put an attorney on your side who has proven experience defending individual investors and firms against SEC regulatory investigations.