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ATB Coin the Latest to Face Class-Action Suit After ICO

Go similar suits against Tezos and Centra, another initial make up offering that opted not to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) right sides a class-action lawsuit alleging its cryptocurrency should be considered a security.

On December 21, Raymond Balestra filed a rate action suit in the Southern District of New York against ATBCoin LLC, Edward Ng (CEO) and Herbert W. Hoover (co-founder). Aim a jury trial from the court, the plaintiffs alleged that ATBCoin had disobeyed the Securities Act by issuing unregistered securities with the expectation of profit in the means of the ATB coin and the placement of all remaining funds invested into a trust, in the involved of investors.

The complaint alleges:

“The ATB ICO was a clear offer and sale of securities because, inter alia [sum total other things], Defendants touted, and Plaintiff and other ATB ICO investors reasonably conjectured, that the ATB Coins received in exchange for their investments would be quality more than the ETH, BTC, LTC or other currencies invested.”

Offered as a fast and economical blockchain-based payment system, ATB’s initial coin offering launched on June 12, to run through July 12, agreeing to a blog post. The plaintiffs alleged that the offering effectively pursued into September, with a second phase in August and a press pass out on September 11 announcing it was still open to investment. On the ATB blog, the associates announced that sales were closed on September 8 and that deployment would take place on September 14.

The plaintiff invested 2.1 ETH on August 12 (give $621.62 at the time, according to CoinDesk’s Ethereum Price Tracker). It is not be aware how many people invested or how much was raised, but the complaint estimated the amount to to be somewhere “between $20,400,000 and $24,210,000” in bitcoin, ether and litecoin.

The example made similar allegations to those of other investors against other ICO proposals such as Tezos and Centra Tech, in which similar arguments from plaintiffs were prospered that tokens offered by these ICOs should be seen as asyla.

In addition, legal experts also weighed in arguing that exclusive complaints against initial coin offerings may force the courts to determine which cryptocurrencies are considered as securities before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Drinker Biddle’s Jim Lundy, a veteran of the SEC who shows clients in securities cases, told CoinDesk, that the complaint is “go a typical securities class action format for a public offering.” He communicated, “This theory is that item itself, the ATB Coin, is a security. I don’t be uncertain that the defendants will move to dismiss that, and the judge choose have to rule.”

Participants in the crypto-economy have been waiting for marvellous clarity from the courts or the SEC on which kinds of coins are securities inferior to U.S. law. Even getting to that ruling is likely to take months, anyway. 

Another SEC veteran, Timothy Peterson, now of Murphy & McGonigle, agreed that a shifting to dismiss should come shortly, adding that “it’s likely the court ordain look at the SEC’s 21(a) report on DAO for guidance, but it’s important to note that the 21(a) recount is not controlling. That is, the court can come to its own conclusions about what is and what is not a sanctuary for purposes of federal securities law.”

Peterson concluded:

“I think we can expect to see more of these grouse in the future, especially once courts begin to carve out tests to limit how cryptocurrencies should be regulated or examined. More facts will have need of to come out before it’s fair to comment on the merits of these particular declarations.”

The full filing may be read here:

ATB Coin Complaint by CoinDesk on Scribd

The law lady image via CoinDesk archive.

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