Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

SEC halts high-profile Telegram digital tokens

Photo Illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained a court order to temporarily halt the distribution of digital tokens sold by messaging app Telegram for failing to register as a sale of securities.

Why it matters: This is the most high-profile "initial coin offering" (ICO) in which the SEC has intervened. The ICO attracted buyers that included top Silicon Valley VCs and cryptocurrency investors (the commission found that it sold 1 billion tokens to 39 U.S. purchasers).

Kik to shut down chat app, focus on cryptocurrency legal fight

Photo: Kik

Kik, the Canadian maker of a messaging app popular with teens, is shutting down its app and laying off most of its employees to focus solely on Kin, the cryptocurrency it created.

Why it matters: Kik is embattled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over whether or not Kin is a cryptocurrency or a security — and that battle is proving more costly than the company anticipated.

Go deeper: SEC sues chat app Kik over its $100 million token sale