The SEC says that Ian Balina broke securities laws when he ran the $30,000 ICO for Sparkster in 2018.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed charges against crypto influencer Ian Balina. The SEC says that Balina did not file a registration statement with the commission before offering and selling Sparkster’s SPRK tokens, and there was no exemption from registration.
The SEC also says that he didn’t tell people about the money he got for promoting Sparkster’s SPRK initial coin offering (ICOICO) on social media.
Sparkster told investors that if they bought SPRK tokens, they could get a piece of its “no-code” software development platform, which was supposed to let people make software with little coding knowledge. Here, you can still see a demo of a product.
The SEC wants “injunctive relief, disgorgement, civil penalties, and other equitable relief that is appropriate and necessary.” If the charges stick, Balina would not be able to sell securities ever again.
In the filing, they also say that all of the Ethereum (ETH) contributions to the ICO were made in the United States.
The filing says, “[Users’] ETH contributions were verified by a network of nodes on the Ethereum blockchain, which are more concentrated in the U.S. than in any other country.” “Because of that, those deals happened in the United States.”
The influential person wrote on Twitter that he was “excited to bring this fight into the open.”
“This silly SEC charge sets a bad example for the whole cryptocurrency industry,” he said. “Crypto VC as a whole is in trouble if investing in a private sale with a discount is a crime.”
At the time this article was written, Balina had about 143,000 Twitter followers and 110,000 YouTube subscribers. He also had books on Amazon and Audible and had been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and Forbes.