ETHERLive delivers real-time price and volume data across 16+ exchanges to users in a clear and easy-to-understand package. Users can get up-to-the-second updates for each exchange/currency pair, as well as aggregated market averages for each exchange, currency, and the market as a whole. It also provides a global converted average of all the currency pairs monitored by ETHNews, converted to USD.


24hr ---

The Basics

Learn the basics of Ethereum and various cryptocurrency technologies

Learn More

What is Ethereum?

Understand the underlying principles of the Ethereum Platform

Learn More

The Blockchain

Discover the revolutionizing technology known as the blockchain

Learn More

Press Release

Submit a press release for consideration on ETHNews

Submit Press

Story / Dapp

Submit a story or DAPP to be considered for publication on ETHNews.

Submit Story


Submit "Ethereum Explainer" content for consideration to be featured on ETHNews

Submit Topic
ETHNews Logo
Ether Price Analysis
Contact Us

SEC Urges Public To Be Wary Of Celebrity-Endorsed Token Offerings




The SEC has warned members of the public against taking celebrities’ advice to invest in token offerings without conducting additional research of their own, and suggested that celebrities who promote investment in certain digital assets may be doing so illegally.

On November 1, the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Enforcement and the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations jointly released a public statement warning that celebrity endorsements of token offerings “may be unlawful if they do not disclose the nature, source, and amount of any compensation paid, directly or indirectly, by the company in exchange for the endorsement.” Token offerings, colloquially known as ICOs, have become a popular means for startups in the nascent blockchain industry to secure funding, especially early on in the life of a company.

On the same day, the Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) issued an alert to would-be investors, cautioning them “not to make investment decisions based solely on celebrity endorsements.”

In bold text, the alert admonished the public to bear in mind that “it is never a good idea to make an investment decision just because someone famous says a product or service is a good investment.” In the public statement, the SEC added that it encourages investors “to research potential investments rather than rely on paid endorsements from artists, sports figures, or other icons” who “often do not have sufficient expertise to ensure that the investment is appropriate and in compliance with federal securities laws.”

The alert explained that celebrities may have ulterior motives for praising a product, such as a financial stake in that product’s success, or may themselves have been tricked into participating in a fraudulent investment scheme. Furthermore, the public statement notes that in light of the Commission’s findings in its investigation of The DAO, celebrities who endorse tokens that double as securities but fail to “disclose the nature, scope, and amount of compensation received in exchange for the promotion” do so in “violation of the anti-touting provisions of the federal securities laws.” These individuals “may also be liable for potential violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws, for participating in an unregistered offer and sale of securities, and for acting as unregistered brokers.”

The alert suggests methods by which potential investors might research investment opportunities before putting money into them and provides several online resources intended to help them conduct this due diligence, including a link to an OIEA bulletin from August 2017 that discusses token offering scams.

These warnings come after several months of buzz around celebrity token offering endorsements. Personalities who have urged the public to invest in particular crypto firms include Floyd Mayweather, Ghostface Killah, DJ Khaled, Jamie Foxx, and Paris Hilton.

Adam Reese

Adam Reese is a Los Angeles-based writer interested in technology, domestic and international politics, social issues, infrastructure and the arts. Adam holds value in Ether, Bitcoin, and Monero.

ETHNews is committed to its Editorial Policy

Like what you read? Follow us on Twitter @ETHNews_ to receive the latest SEC, celebrity or other Ethereum cryptocurrencies and tokens news.