SEC Negotiations Have Cost Kik $5 Million, Claims CEO


Kik’s CEO says the firm has used $5 million engaging with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Fee (SEC) more than what the regulator promises was an unregistered securities sale.

Kik, a messaging system started by Canadian entrepreneur Ted Livingston in 2010, lifted $98 million in an preliminary coin offering (ICO) at the conclude of 2017 to assist its kin cryptocurrency and ecosystem. The SEC later indicated the sale may possibly have violated U.S. securities legislation, and that SEC staff would suggest bringing an enforcement motion from the firm.

On Thursday, Livingston explained to CoinDesk at Token Summit in New York that this has not transpired still, but that each his company and the regulator have been in talks considering the fact that late 2017.

“We’ve used a good deal of funds on this, more than $5 million,” he explained to CoinDesk. “We’ve used a good deal of time on this, we have used the previous 18 months touring to Washington.”

In November 2018, the SEC filed a official letter, recognised as a Wells notice. In Kik’s response to the SEC, the firm highlighted a clause in current law that says currencies are not securities, a remark Livingston echoed Thursday.

Livingston maintains that kin is being used as a forex, introducing:

“In the previous month by yourself, more than a million persons acquired kin from 40 distinctive apps, from 40 distinctive providers. In excess of a quarter million persons used kin, creating it the most-used cryptocurrency in the globe, and they’re not even willing to say that’s not a security.”

“It just continues to drag out,” he mentioned.

Whilst Livingston mentioned he does not have any options to sue the SEC for increased regulatory clarity, he did say the agency desires to present apparent steering.

“Enough is adequate, you’ve been promising clarity for a long time now, any individual desires to go to court and get this settled,” he mentioned.

Livingston mentioned he does want to function with the SEC, nonetheless.

Addressing the securities regulator, he mentioned:

“We want to discover a win-win with you, we fully grasp the difficult position you are in, but at the exact same time innovation desires to shift ahead.”

Regulatory uncertainty may possibly be holding back again the U.S. cryptocurrency industry, Livingston and some others have argued throughout Blockchain 7 days. Builders need to pause as they attempt to determine what regulatory companies could think of a distinct innovation or procedure, he mentioned, which slows down function.

Without a doubt, many providers may possibly be afraid of regulatory motion, with only a person “no-action” letter issued by the SEC to date.

Levels of competition is another concern, Livingston mentioned.

“You have providers like Binance, who glimpse at what Coinbase does and say, ‘We’ll do that but we’ll do it everywhere you go but the U.S.’ – and now Binance has replaced Coinbase as the major trade in the globe,” he spelled out, introducing:

“We do not want to get Binance’d.”

Ted Livingston speaks at an celebration in New York, image by Brady Dale for CoinDesk

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