Blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused investment firm and hedge fund Pantera Capital has warned that a quarter of its ICO projects could be found to violate the United States’ securities laws.According to the company’s most recent newsletter cited by a Bloomberg article Dec. 13, the ongoing crackdown by U.S. regulators means many ICOs, which have already felt the pinch from declining markets, may have to repay investors.
“While we believe the vast majority of the projects in our portfolio should not be affected, approximately 25 percent of our fund’s capital is invested in projects with liquid tokens that sold to U.S. investors without using regulation D or regulation S,” the publication quotes co-chief investment officers Dan Morehead and Joey Krug as saying.
“If any of these projects are deemed to be securities, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) position could adversely affect them. Of these projects, about a third (approximately 10 percent of the portfolio) are live and functional and, while they could technically continue without further development, ending development would hinder their progress.”
Included in the likely victims is cannabis-focused ICO project Paragon, one of two schemes the SEC ordered to repay millions of dollars in refunds and fines in November for breaching securities rules.
Data has since confirmed the downward pressure regulators have had on the ICO industry, with the amount of funding accrued dropping significantly.
Barry Silbert, founder of fellow investment giant Digital Currency Group, told CNBC earlier this month he considered the ICO market to be “dead.”
“You now have the lack of demand from ICOs and then you have all the sponsors of the ICOs who raised a bunch of Bitcoin (BTC) and primarily Ether (ETH) who are now starting to sell that,” he explained.