Crypto promoter Ian Balina labels SEC charge ‘frivolous’, turns down settlement

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Famed cryp­to pro­mot­er Ian Bali­na has labeled the SEC charges against him as friv­o­lous, say­ing he is “excit­ed to take this fight public.”

The US Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion filed charges against the cryp­tocur­ren­cy pro­mot­er for vio­lat­ing fed­er­al secu­ri­ties law on Sep­tem­ber 19.

Accord­ing to the com­plaint, Bali­na pro­mot­ed unreg­is­tered secu­ri­ties of SPRK tokens in 2018 with­out dis­clos­ing that he received pay­ment for the promotion.

The com­mis­sion fur­ther accused him of fail­ing to file a reg­is­tra­tion state­ment with the SEC after form­ing an invest­ment pool for the token on Telegram, through which he resold the tokens.

Mean­while, Bali­na said:

“(The) SEC charge sets a bad prece­dent for the entire cryp­to indus­try. If invest­ing in a pri­vate sale with a dis­count is a crime, the entire cryp­to VC space is in trouble.”

Bali­na revealed that he declined to set­tle with the regulator.

The SEC wants to recov­er his prof­its from the pro­mo­tions and impose civ­il penal­ties on him.

Bali­na gained wide pop­u­lar­i­ty with­in the indus­try dur­ing the ICO boom of 2017 to 2018. The for­mer IBM and Deloitte data ana­lyt­ics experts reviewed sev­er­al ini­tial coin offer­ings on his YouTube chan­nel, increas­ing his popularity.

He was famous for los­ing $2 mil­lion worth of cryp­to assets to a hack while doing an ICO review livestream. At the time, a view­er alert­ed him to the hack, but he ini­tial­ly thought it was a troll before dis­cov­er­ing it was real.

Mean­while, sev­er­al peo­ple in the cryp­to space have expressed sur­prise that the SEC is going after some­one from as far back as 2018. But some peo­ple believe he had it com­ing, espe­cial­ly giv­en his actions.

Bali­na remains active in cryp­to and is present­ly pro­mot­ing NFTs for his project, Token Metrics.

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