Cornerstone Research, an economic and financial consulting company, has published a report finding that more than 6% of the securities class action filings made in 2018 have related to initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies.
According to Cornerstone’s “Securities Class Action Filings 2018 Midyear Assessment,” 7 of the 111 “core” filings (those “without [mergers and acquisitions] claims”) made in 2018 have related to ICOs.
The percentage of the total number of securities filings that relate to ICOs has thus far increased when compared to last year. A total of 87 core securities class action suits were filed in 2017, 5 of which pertained to ICOs (5.75%).
Cornerstone asserts that 750 securities class action filings have been made since mid-2016 – describing such as comprising “the most prolific 24-month period since the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA) was enacted.”
The cryptocurrency related suits filed in 2018 include those against Paragon Coin, Latium Network, DRIP, Cloud With Me, and Mining Max. Presently, there are ongoing suits against Bitconnect – which is accused of “fail[ing] to disclose material facts” precipitating its collapse, and Ripple Labs. Ripple is accused of raising “hundreds of millions of dollars” through the unlicensed sale of XRP to retail investors, with the suit arguing that XRP tokens “have all the traditional hallmarks of a security.”
Co-author of the report and former commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Joseph Grundfest, stated of the study’s findings that “Class action securities fraud litigation continues to affect a large percentage of publicly traded firms. […] If the trends observed in the first half of the year continue to year-end, approximately 8.5 percent of all companies listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ markets will have been sued in these cases.”
What is your response to Cornerstone’s research into the number of securities filings pertaining to initial coin offerings? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, law.stanford.edu
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