The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued Kik Interactive for the $100 million token sale the company announced two years ago.
It’s an expansion of legal actions that began last year as the SEC seeks to rein in companies that the regulatory agency thinks issued securities illegally.
In the lawsuit, the SEC claims that Kikconducted an illegal $100 million offering of digital tokens by selling the tokens to U.S. investors without registering their offer and sale as required under U.S. law.
The complaint alleges that Kik had been losing money for years on its online messaging application and that the company’s management predicted it would run out of money in 2017, precisely when it began laying the groundwork for the launch of its digital token, “Kin.”
The creation of an online marketplace selling through the company’s messaging service was financed by the sale of 1 trillion digital tokens to raise $100 million dollars.
Critical to the SEC’s case is the allegation that Kik marketed its Kin tokens as an investment opportunity, telling investors that rising demand would drive up the value of Kin and that Kik would work to boost that demand.
Kik was supposed to do that by building systems like a Kin transaction service, a rewards system for companies that used Kin, and by incorporating the tokens into the company’s existing messaging app. None of those features existed at the time of the offering, the SEC alleges.
The company also said that it would keep three trillion tokens that could trade on secondary markets and would increase in value as other investors speculated on the currency’s success.
“By selling $100 million in securities without registering the offers or sales, we allege that Kik deprived investors of inf
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