Cryptocurrency Airdrops and Bounty Campaigns Face SEC Hammer

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The regulatory scrutiny over ICOs has led to the arrival of token “airdrops,” or free tokens in exchange for a few marketing efforts. However, a recent ruling by the SEC may end this augmenting form of generating hype for many cryptocurrency projects in the U.S. SEC Not Impressed A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, dated Aug. 14, unveiled digital asset startup Tomahawk has received a $30,000 fine and a lifetime ban for allegedly employing “fraudulent marketing techniques” to amp up its fundraising efforts. A cease-and-desist order was later made public and cryptocurrency communities were quick to note a key detail of the SEC’s order: “Free” tokens were considered securities. Tomahawk’s token issuance was said to violate Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act by “selling TOM tokens in the absence of a registered statement.” The court highlighted Tomahawk’s use of bounty campaigns and other marketing activities were “designed