Skip to content

About us

eCounsel group

A boutique firm with unparalleled expertise in business and technology. We have good command of industrial ecology and legal practice, and have undertaken highly regarded cases. Because the small business scope, we pay more emphasis on effectiveness and efficiency, and choose clients with deliberation. The managing partner not only has extensive experiences in various legal issues more over than 20 years, but invests and manages several technology companies. In addition, he always checks each case rigorously. Clients’ business objectives are our primary focus. To achieve the same in the most cost-effective fashion trumps all seemingly sophisticated legal discussions.

SEC Scored Victory in Crypto Crime Crackdown

2018 - 09 - 18

A ruling in the Eastern District of New York sparked controversies in the crypto world as it was the very first time a federal court had weighed in on the SEC’s jurisdiction over ICOs in a criminal case. The SEC has long been cautious in regards to the new funding method of initial coin offering, claiming that most (except Bitcoin and Ether) ICO tokens fall into the definition of securities, therefore, shall be regulated by the Security Act. Despite the SEC’s firm standing on this issue, not much law enforcing actions were taken by the authorities, therefore, the ICO industry continues booming and raised around $12 billion from January through the end of June this year. However, Judge Raymond Dearie of the Eastern District Court’s ruling might just change everything.

The crime case involves Brooklyn businessman Maksim Zaslavskiy, who was charged with conspiracy and two counts of securities fraud for allegedly defrauding investors in two ICO projects. Mr. Zaslavskiy runs two crypto companies – REcoin Group Foundation, LLC and DRC Work, Inc. and offered investors ICO tokens backed by assets like real estate and diamonds. However, these assets were nowhere to be found and investors were not given any new digital tokens after making investments. In Judge Dearie’s ruling against Mr. Zaslavskiy, the court said that sufficient facts showed that the defendant’s ICOs were investment contracts that fall into the Howey Test, and shall be regulated by the SEC under the Security Act.

Although the jury will make the final decision, Judge Dearie’s ruling will nonetheless empower the SEC to take on an even more active and rigorous role in regulating “security” tokens. In return, the SEC should be able to provide more definitive guidance in regards to ICO tokens functioning like secruities. A more definitive guidance is what the crypto industry needs and will potentially tone down the significant numbers of ICO scams.

Source:

U.S. Judge Says Initial Coin Offering Covered by Securities Law – Bloomberg

Judge Lets Cryptocurrency Fraud Case Go Forward, In Win for SEC – WSJ

 

Recommended article 

The Difficult Situations of Netflix, Spotify and Pandora

The online music and video streaming services are facing the same uphill battle. 目前線上的影音串流業者,都面臨類似的困境。Netflix只有美國的實體DVD郵寄業務賺錢,串流部分則是做得愈多,虧得愈大。Spotify更不必講了,在全球喊得很大聲,然而它不但年年在賠,還賠很多。 只有Pandora,在串流音樂的領域是非常成功的。它砍掉搜尋這種on-demand功能,而主張自己是radio station之模式,支付遠較Spotify這種業者低的權利金。惟其在北美以外一直沒有明確的海外擴張計畫,因此台灣對它比較不熟悉。 它的UI/UX看得出是千錘百鍊的最佳化配置、進入市場早(2000年)、每年包括MAU(目前有八千萬人)及聆聽總時數等等各重要數據都正成長(以營收而言,2012年4億、13年6億、14年9.2億、15年近12億);而在營收配置上,廣告占80%、premium訂戶占20%,更是值得參考的模式。 在影音串流領域表現佳,但目前在NYSE上,Pandora市值不到美金20億,去年營收近12億,四年來都一樣,小虧。併掉了Rdio之後也不會有改善。 讀者可以參考華爾街日報的這篇文章: Pandora Media Swings to Loss Amid Higher Expenses Web-radio-service Pandora Media Inc. on Thursday swung to a loss in its…

Fundamental Internal Controls Regulations for Corporations in China

On June 28th, 2008, China released its first fundamental internal controls regulations and held the first internal controls summit. 中華人民共和國於2008年6月28日,由財政部、證券監督管理委員會、審計署、銀行業監督管理委員會以及保險監督管理委員會召開企業內部控制基本規範發布會及第一屆的企業內部控制高層論壇,在會議中發布了「企業內部控制基本規範」,此規範的根據法源是中國的公司法、證券法以及會計法。 「企業內部控制基本規範」的內容與COSO所提出的內部控制研究報告有相當高的一致性,普遍認為此依規範的發布有助於中國與國際接軌,一方面可以為中國的企業築起一道防範企業弊案的防火牆,更有助於中國的企業走出中國,擠身國際企業之林,是中國企業內部控制制度規範的一個重大突破。 「企業內部控制基本規範」預計於2009年7月1日起於中國的上市企業範圍內施行,並且也鼓勵非上市企業的中大型企業執行本規範的規定1。在這個基本規範當中除了提出與COSO報告雷同的內部控制定義、三大目標2與五大要素3之外,比較特殊的地方是這個規範還提出了內部控制的幾個大原則,本書將在接下來的部份簡單介紹一下這些原則。更重要的部份是,我們要把「企業內部控制基本規範」拿來與美國的沙賓法案做個比較,看看中國與美國在內部控制規範的部份是否有相同的規定。 一、「企業內部控制基本規範」第四條提出的內部控制五大原則 (一)全面性原則 全面性原則所要表達的是,內部控制應該貫穿企業內部的所有流程,包括決策、執行監督等各種大小作業程序,而且還必須要涵蓋企業以及其所屬單位的所有業務及事項。 (二)重要性原則 全面性原則告訴我們內部控制必須全面存在於企業內的各種層級、單位、及事物,而重要性原則是在全面建立內部控制制度的基礎之上,去著重關注企業內重要的業務或是容易出差錯的高風險地帶。比如說財務報告的製作流程可能就是一個我們需要徹以執行內控的領域。 (三)制衡性原則 我們在設計企業內部的控制制度的時候,很重要的一個觀念就是要在各個內部單位的治理結構、機構設置、權責分配及作業流程等方面設計出相互制約、牽制的機制,同時並顧及到營運的效率,這就是制衡性原則。 (四)適應性原則 每一個企業的內部控制制度都不該是完全相同的,因為它們必須視每個企業不同的經營規模、風險高低、競爭狀況、業務範圍等來設計出合適的機制,當然也必須隨時因應各種外在、內在條件的改變來調整,適應性原則就是表達了內部控制的此種特徵。 (五)成本效益原則 成本效益原則是告訴我們,不管採取何種內部控制制度,我們都必須審慎評估實施的成本以及實施後能夠獲的效益。俗話說「殺雞焉用牛刀」,是否每一家企業都必須建立龐大的內部稽核單位或是引進動輒數百萬的企業資源管理系統?內部控制的建立必須要能夠用合理的成本支出來達到相當的內控效果,才是一個好的內部控制制度,如果說一個企業的內部控制制度反而會拖累本來的業務成效,那真的就是本末倒置了。 二、內部控制制度自我評估報告 根據「企業內部控制基本規範」第46條規定,企業應該要結合其企業內部監督的情況,定期對於其內部控制制度的有效性進行評估,並且出具報告。此要求與美國沙賓法案第404條有異曲同工之妙,皆要求企業應該要提出內部控制制度的評估報告,促使企業建立適當的內部控制制度。 三、內部控制制度建立及實施過程資料之保存…

SEC Cracking Down ICOs

In the past few months, the U.S. SEC has significantly expanded its crackdown on hundreds of ICO projects, putting these startups at risk. Recently, the SEC has subpoenaed several ICO startups that failed to sell tokens…