Supporters of Veritaseum (VERI), a peer-to-peer capital market platform that has been halted by a court order pursued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), have published an online public petition demanding that the SEC explain their actions.
The author of the petition, Jeremy Stevenson, begins by stating that the SEC “…attack on Veritaseum is a very aggressive and somewhat extraordinary measure” before proceeding to vigorously defend the company’s actions. Stevenson questions the role of the SEC in pursuing Veritaseum, informing the SEC of the alleged harm they are bringing to the retail consumer and even accuses them of “…incompetence and inability to re-educate…” themselves to “…build new legislation to handle this paradigm shift that is blockchain technology and the efficiencies it brings.”
Court is Out
Veritaseum was founded by Reggie Middleton and launched in a modestly supported ICO in May 2017. The company website states “Veritaseum is a highly disruptive revolution in finance” as its peer-to-peer software seeks to challenge existing institutional business models that currently dominate capital markets.
The SEC issued a comprehensive statement on its position with respect to ICOs at the end of the same year. Whilst many observers of the crypto markets were largely expecting – and perhaps hoping for – a new regulatory framework to accommodate tokenised fund-raising models and crypto assets more generally, the SEC’s position has largely been one of accommodating so-called ICO / ITO / STO issues within its existing securities and IPO compliance frameworks.
As described by MarketWatch in 2018, active oversight in the traditional stock market for Initial Public Offerings (IPO) has been positive for company share issues yet “It is surprising that at the same time the SEC is so negative about ICOs.”
In August 2019, the SEC obtained a restraining order freezing the assets of Veritaseum, as they claimed the ICO itself was fraudulent and subsequently involved market manipulation of the VERI token price by Middleton.
Our response to SEC allegations has been filed and is now public. While it may appear voluminous, it should be considered MANDATORY READING for those in the fintech/blockchain space, and legal eagles alike. Read the declarations as well as the memo https://t.co/YXy4BqhjNP
— ReggieMiddleton (@ReggieMiddleton) August 20, 2019
Lengthy court documents submitted by Middleton’s legal defence team counter the SEC’s claims, contest that they had been open with the regulators from the beginning and seek dismissal of the charges laid against them.