Erik Voorhees in spotlight as SEC launches probe into Salt ICO

The Securities and Exchange Commission has set its sights on the Salt lending platform, with investigations ongoing in regards to a $50 million token sale in 2017

The Securities and Exchange Commission is continuing to clamp down on cryptocurrency projects, taking aim at Salt which raised $50 million in an ICO last year, according to WSJ.

The platform, which offers loans to those looking to use their cryptocurrency as collateral, is reported to have received a subpoena from the SEC in February.

It is looking into the ICO to assess whether it was a noncompliant securities offering, which means it should have been registered with the regulator.

Erik Voorhees is at the centre of the investigation, having reportedly played a ‘leadership role’ at Salt. Voorhees, who is now the CEO of Shapeshift, was also listed as a ‘director’ in an SEC filing five days before Salt’s token sale.

Voorhees is no stranger to the SEC. He was investigated by the regulator in 2014 over ‘unregistered securities offerings’, subsequently being slapped with fines and disgorgement worth $50,000.

Former SEC division director Keith Higgins told the WSJ: “A provision in the 2014 settlement makes him a so-called ‘bad actor’ unable to rely on an SEC safe harbor for private, unregulated stock sales.”

This isn’t the first time the WSJ has set its sights on Voorhees. It has also reported that Shapeshift helped launder $9 million of illicit cash through the exchange. However, he was quick to refute claims in a blog post, claiming that WSJ had a fundamental misunderstanding of how blockchain transactions work.

Voorhees wrote: “Overall, the article contains factual inaccuracies, omits significant details about how ShapeShift operates, and reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of how blockchain transactions work. We have a strong record of complying with law-enforcement requests, providing valuable assistance in over 30 investigations in 13 different countries all over the world.”

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.


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