Actors and other prominent figures have in recent years been used to promote cryptocurrencies. More specifically, during their launch, ICOs. A number have been in trouble for this after promoting scammy projects. Others have refused to disclaim their interest in the projects. Actor Steven Seagal has today been charged by the SEC over the failure to disclose his involvement with Bitcoiin2Gen (B2G).
Steven Seagal Pay For Promoting B2G
Steven Seagal promoted an initial coin offering (ICO) conducted by Bitcoiin2Gen (B2G). The SEC says that the actor was promised $250,000 in cash and $750,000 worth of B2G tokens in exchange. The actor did not disclose these details to the public. The SEC has now charged Seagal for failing to reveal this in accordance with its anti-touting provisions of the federal securities laws.
The SEC stipulated that any celebrity who is involved in touting any cryptocurrency needs to disclose ” the nature, scope, and amount of compensation received in exchange for the promotion.” In Seagal’s case, the promotion also came just six months after the commission released the SEC’s 2017 DAO Report that warned some ICOs could be securities.
“…which included posts on his public social media accounts encouraging the public not to “miss out” on Bitcoiin2Gen’s ICO and a press release titled “Zen Master Steven Seagal Has Become the Brand Ambassador of Bitcoiin2Gen.” A Bitcoiin2Gen press release also included a quotation from Seagal stating that he endorsed the ICO “wholeheartedly.”
Kristina Littman, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit says that investors of the cryptocurrency deserved to know about the payments that Seagal was receiving. They could only then judge if he was being biased.
Seagal has neither denied or accepted these charges but has agreed to pay $157,000 in disgorgement and $157,000 penalty. He has also agreed not to promote any security or digital asset for the next three years.
An Old Habit
In the past, we have seen other celebrities including musician Dj Khaled and boxer Floyd Mayweather get in trouble for promoting cryptocurrencies.
The trend of using celebrities by projects to tout their crypto is, however, dying with the SEC setting clear rules to protect investors. The investors are more mature and have learned not to look at the flash promised by celebrities but the fundamentals driving projects.