back to article Blockheads changing company names to surf crypto wave get a warning from the SEC

The chairman of the United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission has again taken aim at cryptocurrency speculators, this time warning companies thinking of adding “Blockchain” to their names that his agency is watching them. Closely. In remarks delivered at the Securities Regulation Institute, SEC Chair Jay Clayton said “ …

  1. J__M__M

    we have spirit yes we do we have spirit how about you

    If Jay Clayton wants to wear a cheerleader's outfit to work every day that's cool, but the spirit nonsense should end right there.

    US federal law now consists of about 96 bazillion pages worth of codes, which together span nearly 34 zillion volumes. If the spirit part ain't in there, either add it in or let it go (preferably the latter).

    P.S. If people are dumb enough to invest in a strip club just because they accept bitcoin for tips, then so be it.

    1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: we have spirit yes we do we have spirit how about you

      "US federal law now consists of about 96 bazillion pages worth of codes, which together span nearly 34 zillion volumes. If the spirit part ain't in there, either add it in or let it go (preferably the latter)."

      Coming on a tech site, comments like this are (unintentionally, I'm sure!) hilarious. There are "96 bazillion pages worth of codes" exactly BECAUSE people look for every possible loophole to give themselves an advantage. Complaining that there are too many laws is rather like complaining that there are too many lines of code in a program when all that's really needed is a "Do What I Meant" button.

      ...Unless, of course, the intended argument is that cheating people is OK if they can't stop you; in which case the person propounding that argument is an ass.

      1. J__M__M

        Re: we have spirit yes we do we have spirit how about you

        "Complaining that there are too many laws is rather like complaining that there are too many lines of code in a program when all that's really needed is a "Do What I Meant" button."

        Not exactly. Complaining that there are too many laws is rather like complaining that there are too many lines of code when the same thing can be accomplished using fewer lines of code. The user interface has nothing to do with it.

        Unless you and your 14 downvoting friends are federal prosecutors, I'm pretty sure you missed the point (if you are, then you probably got it but don't care since you're more likely to be promoted than held accountable). If federal law is going to span 96 bazillion pages, another bazillion isn't exactly going to cross over that blurry line of human comprehension. We passed that one a long time ago. So basically either define the law or fack off. You can't have it both ways. The word "can't" rather than "shouldn't" is just wishful thinking to those of you still not getting it. Or denial. Whatever.

        If ignorance of the law is no defense, maybe there should be an alternative. Defense, I mean. Or you know, like, fair.

        The spirit of the law is a euphemism for ambiguity. Ambiguity is step one in the prosecutorial overreach handbook. Go read Three Felonies a Day by Harvey Silverglate (or some other helpful amazon suggestion) and get back to me.

        I am not unreasonable.

  2. Andy Mac

    Surely a case of caveat emptor?

    This is the equivalent of betting on a horse because you think the name is funny.

    1. tmTM

      A fool and his money???

      Something........Something.........Something......Blockchain??

  3. Herby

    Crypto currency FRAUD?

    Well, you could have blown me over with a feather.

    When something bounces up and down by 50% in one week or so, one needs to be VERY suspicious. Somehow I would short the security about a year out, and probably make money. Then again, some people think the lottery is a good investment.

    (*SIGH*) Not me!

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: Crypto currency FRAUD?

      Not fraud.

      But, as with the 'dotcom' rush there will be 'experts' who make a fortune out of not knowing much.

      ( we can point to current government 'advisors' for proof)

      1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Crypto currency FRAUD?

        Ah, yes, the 'dotcom' rush. That was when companies could boost their stock value by announcing they planned to use Linux at some point in the future. Plans with absolutely no details whatsoever.

  4. imanidiot Silver badge

    A fool and their money

    If someone is stupid enough to sink their money into a company just because they put a buzzword in their name, by all means let them.

  5. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Trollface

    What's in a name?

    Boots doesn't sell boots.

    Currys don't sell curry (or any food).

    Poundland doesn't charge £1.

    Blacks doesn't sell...Well...I've made my point...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's in a name?

      .... and as Muddles added to this list in this year's Bath pantomime (excellent as ever - though parents of of ~10 ten-year-old boys in front of us might an interesting time explaining some of the jokes which seemed very slightly more risque than usual) ".... and Virgin Megastore was a big disappointment"

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: What's in a name?

        Virgin Megastore sold pure, unused objects, so that technically works...

    2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: What's in a name?

      Yes, but if Poundland was suddenly Poundland-Ferrari.co.uk, would you buy a car from them?

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        Re: What's in a name?

        No, but it would likely increase their share price (which is the point of the article).

    3. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: What's in a name?

      And it seems that Selfridges don't.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Terry

        Darn, that's a good one. I'm ashamed that i missed it.

        What do you suppose Dicks sells?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not so much "dotcom" as "Web 2.0"

    for those old enough to remember it.

  7. tiggity Silver badge

    A bit like job ads with 5 years experience wanted of a 2 year old technology

    Ignoring the at your own risk, name change scenario

    “I doubt anyone in this audience thinks it would be acceptable for a public company with no meaningful track record in pursuing the commercialization of distributed ledger or blockchain technology to (snip)"

    Not that many companies will have a meaningful track record in blockchain tech ... because its relatively recent and has (until recently) been quite niche.

    If we follow that logic, whenever something "new" bursts on the scene (be it bubble or with firmer foundations) then only early adopters can publicise (in their name) that they are involved in this area ...

    1. Graham Cobb

      Re: A bit like job ads with 5 years experience wanted of a 2 year old technology

      Er, no. You may want to re-read the paragraph. All the early adopter needs to do is not "immediately offer securities, without providing adequate disclosure to Main Street investors about those changes and the risks involved".

      All he is saying is... if you aren't an expert, and you decide to cash-in for some publicity, then you can't go fooling inexperienced investors.

    2. lglethal Silver badge
      Go

      Re: A bit like job ads with 5 years experience wanted of a 2 year old technology

      Yes and no. If a company works in programming, cryptography, or something along those lines and they decide to get into Blockchain, you can be pretty certain that they will at least have an understanding of the issues involved in making Blockchain work in their application. When a company that makes soft drinks *cough*Long Island Ice Tea Co*cough* suddenly decides its now going to be a block chain company you can be pretty certain that they havent got a f$%king clue what they're talking about...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: A bit like job ads with 5 years experience wanted of a 2 year old technology

        "suddenly decides its now going to be a block chain company"

        Have they actually changed the nature of the company or just its name?

        1. lglethal Silver badge

          Re: A bit like job ads with 5 years experience wanted of a 2 year old technology

          If i remember the reg article correctly, they've spun the drinks part into a fully owned subsidiary, and the top level is now a block chain company (whatever that happens to mean). So yes they claim to have changed the nature of the company.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kodak

    Didn't they do something like this recently (i.e. around 10 January 2018)?

    Perhaps I'm confused...

    1. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge

      Re: Kodak

      Didn't he used to suck lollipops?

  9. Nimby
    Trollface

    Blockchain.Chaser.Law

    Why do I have this sudden desire to start a law firm to lob sueballs at companies that misleadingly change their names, offer ICOs, and otherwise take money from idiots too lazy to research their investments? It seems like a win-win. Either I can rob a self-professed idiot while attempting to sue the company that "robbed" them, or I may occasionally get lucky and actually win a lawsuit (or at least a settlement) and make the asterisk-holes who thought changing their name to include a buzzword was a good idea. Either way I get rich and make an idiot suffer in the process.

    Specializing in Blockchain Law since 2018.

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