According to Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wants to “know everything” about the $250 million tZero ICO. He told Bloomberg that the regulatory agency was making detailed inquiries into specific aspects of the token sale, such as how the company ensures ICO contributors are accredited.
Byrne, however, said:
“They want to know everything about what we’re doing in the world of ICOs and they want to have a conversation,” said Byrne. “We’re super compliant. We welcome this.”
In a March 1 filing, Overstock disclosed that the SEC was investigating the tZero ICO, which has raised $115 million from approximately 1,100 accredited investors and is expected to reach $250 million by the end of the sale.
Byrne stressed that Overstock had provided documents voluntarily — indicating that it was not one of the “dozens” of companies to receive SEC subpoenas — and he lauded the agency for stepping up its enforcement of the ICO ecosystem.
“It’s way past due the SEC comes in and looks at this,”
The SEC has expressed particular interest in the “simple agreements for future tokens” — more commonly known by the acronym SAFT — that ICO operators have used to accept contributions from accredited investors while also claiming an exemption from SEC registration requirements.
However, although Byrne may claim to welcome the SEC’s inquiry, the timing of the probe’s disclosure was not good for Overstock. The firm announced the same day that it was opening the next round of the tZero ICO. Shares of the e-commerce firm slid on news of the probe as well, falling as much as 10 percent during intraday trading before closing at $57.75, 4.4 percent below their previous-day level.