California District Court Denies SEC Preliminary Injunction in ICO Case, Says Tokens’ Status As Securities Is Question of Fact
December 6, 2018
On November 28, 2018, Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California denied the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s motion for a preliminary injunction against Blockvest, LLC and Reginald Ringgold in connection with Defendants’ initial coin offering.
In doing so, the court found disputed issues of fact existed regarding whether the so-called “BLV” tokens constituted “securities” under the test set out in SEC v. W.J. Howey Co. This is not the first time a court has characterized the question of whether an ICO token satisfies Howey’s requirements as a factual one. But, the decision is notable for being the first instance of a court ruling against the SEC in an ICO and because it focused its inquiry under Howeyon the subjective understanding of particular investors rather than the objective characteristics of the tokens themselves.
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