Overstock.com and cryptocurrency…two things we haven’t mentioned in a while. But both came to our attention after the WSJ highlighted an SEC probe into the mysterious world of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

 

Overstock, one of many companies subpoenaed by the SEC, was asked to release information about its tZero ICO—a fundraising effort for its alternative blockchain-based securities trading network (think NASDAQ 2.0). For now, the SEC is just calling it a check-up.

 

Zoom out: Because things in crypto-land are just heating up.

  • ICOs have raised $1.7 billion so far this year, on track to pass last year’s $6.5 billion.
  • An MIT report estimates that up to $317 million from ICOs has gone to scams.
  • Hedge funds and private investors receive special treatment to buy tokens at discounted rates. Some immediately flip them for large profits.

 

Bottom line: ICOs look like they have some momentum, which is why the SEC is cracking down. That’s healthy—more regulation typically weeds out the bad actors.

 

This short article provided by Morning Brew – your daily fix for everything business, from Silicon Valley to Wall Street. Click *here* to sign upw for the daily e-newsletter that cuts through the bs and gives you a quick and conversational round up of all things business every morning. Original article: https://www.morningbrew.com/stories/secs-crypto-probe-sends-overstocks-stock-falling/