Recently, a friend of mine from the United States (the land of the free), wanted to participate in an ICO for a brand new coin. He had done all the research on the team, read the white paper, and had his hard earned money ready to invest when the date rolled around. What he didn’t anticipate, upon logging into the site, was a message saying his IP had been blocked and that US investors were not allowed to participate. He was devastated.
Lucky for him I am not American and a few clicks later I purchased the ICO for him. Problem solved, for him, but what about the millions of Americans that can’t participate so easily?
The SEC, a US regulatory body for securities, said in July, that some coins issued in ICOS are securities, and are subject to the agencies regulations. Companies, especially in the US, are not allowing US investors to participate in their token sale, due to possible legal backlash from the SEC.
In more recent news, it seems that the SEC is contacting blockchain start ups that are holding ICOS, and making them close their token sale immediately. Protostar, a company creating a platform for rising internet stars, was contacted by the SEC, and forced to close their token sale, and refund all investors. “After consultation with multiple lawyers, we have decided to cease further operations and refund Ethereum collected in our crowdsale that began on August 13, 2017”, Protostar stated in a press released.
The statement went on to say, “Like many of our supporters, we were excited to be an innovative force in the emerging space of content creation and its funding. Unfortunately, as a startup, we do not have the necessary resources to both develop our [decentralized application] and challenge the SEC’s investigation regarding our ICO and its interpretation under US securities law.”
In the name of protecting consumers, the SEC is stifling innovation, as well as trampling on the rights of business owners, and common investors. They would prefer a framework they can control, and that favors businesses and investors with a lot of money. Milton Friedman once said “Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself”. The free market can handle cryptocurrencies. We don’t need regulators coming in and “protecting us”.
Long before Bitcoin was a buzz word, and ICOS were on the SEC radar, the Cyperpunks of the 80s and 90s created the foundations that led to the projects we have today. The Cyperpunks were a group of political activists, that advocated for cryptography and digital privacy. Members of the cypherpunks include John Gilmore, Julian Assange, Jacob Applebaum, Adam Back, Hal Finney, and more! In 1993 Eric Hughes wrote the Cyperpunks manifesto. In it, Eric wrote, “Privacy is necessary for an open society in the electronic age”, and “we cannot expect governments, corporations, or other large, faceless organizations to grant us privacy out of their beneficence”.
Nearly 25 years later those ideas couldn’t ring more true. We’ve seen all throughout the 2000s governments trample on the rights of it’s citizens with wide scope surveillance. One of the main goals of the Cypherpunks was making encryption widespread. They said if secure communication can become the default for a large part of the internet, we will have struck a major blow. Fast forward to 2017, what’s app and other messaging apps are encrypted by default. This is a huge win for privacy but the fight is still on going. Just like consumers have demanded that their communications be encrypted, we must also demand that blockchain technology companies be decentralized. Corporate blockchains defeat the entire spirit of what the Cyperpunks wanted and fought for.
Corporations, such as JP Morgan, and governments all over the world are going to integrate blockchain technology very soon. They’re going to do their best to ensure they keep a good control on it, and that they can get their taxes and profits. They are going to say decentralization is bad, and can’t be trusted. They are going to point to dark markets integrating Monero as just another reason we need them involved, or why we need to ban coins like Monero all together. As a community we must resist this.
Centralized exchanges, and places to buy Bitcoin are already transforming this industry in a negative way. Recently during the Bitcoin fork, the community had to press hard to get them to give the customers Bitcoin Cash instead of just stealing it. They can block or take away your money if the coins are affiliated with gambling, dark market activity, or anything else they deem inappropriate. We must actively make sure we don’t get too far away from the ideas and freedom that Crypto allowed in the first place, or there’s no point being involved at all. Cryptocurrencies give the power back to the people. Let’s not give that power away.
The team at ICOMG believe in a world free from regulations and oversight. Our site will allow anyone in any country to participate in ICOS 100% anonymously. We have an open letter to the SEC coming out Monday. For more information and to follow what we’re doing, please visit ICOMG.IO
Don’t forget the spirit of Crypto! We want privacy, security, and decentralization.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored article