On October 2, 2018, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro appeared on national television and announced the official launch of the Venezuelan Petro cryptocurrency. While the official website and wallet for the Petro appear to have launched and be fully operational, and it appears to be presently trading in various cryptocurrency exchanges, United States persons should be extremely wary of trading or investing in the Petro.
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A recent settled SEC enforcement action against an ICO issuer and its promoter calls into question the viability of the “airdrop” model of distributing digital tokens to investors. Whether such a distribution model runs afoul of the federal securities laws has been the subject of much debate in recent months, and the SEC’s case provides additional insight into their analysis of the issue.
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