Famed crypto promoter Ian Balina has labeled the SEC charges against him as frivolous, saying he is “excited to take this fight public.”
Excited to take this fight public.
This frivolous SEC charge sets a bad precedent for the entire crypto industry.
If investing in a private sale with a discount is a crime, the entire crypto VC space is in trouble.
Turned down settlement so they have to prove themselves. 💯 pic.twitter.com/lVaqnnsLgT
— Ian Balina (@DiaryofaMadeMan) September 19, 2022
The US Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against the cryptocurrency promoter for violating federal securities law on September 19.
According to the complaint, Balina promoted unregistered securities of SPRK tokens in 2018 without disclosing that he received payment for the promotion.
The commission further accused him of failing to file a registration statement with the SEC after forming an investment pool for the token on Telegram, through which he resold the tokens.
Meanwhile, Balina said:
“(The) SEC charge sets a bad precedent for the entire crypto industry. If investing in a private sale with a discount is a crime, the entire crypto VC space is in trouble.”
Balina revealed that he declined to settle with the regulator.
The SEC wants to recover his profits from the promotions and impose civil penalties on him.
Balina gained wide popularity within the industry during the ICO boom of 2017 to 2018. The former IBM and Deloitte data analytics experts reviewed several initial coin offerings on his YouTube channel, increasing his popularity.
He was famous for losing $2 million worth of crypto assets to a hack while doing an ICO review livestream. At the time, a viewer alerted him to the hack, but he initially thought it was a troll before discovering it was real.
Meanwhile, several people in the crypto space have expressed surprise that the SEC is going after someone from as far back as 2018. But some people believe he had it coming, especially given his actions.
Balina remains active in crypto and is presently promoting NFTs for his project, Token Metrics.
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Author: Oluwapelumi Adejumo