The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently issued a temporary freeze order on trading for the American Security Resources Corp. (ARSC), a publicly-listed bitcoin exchange company. This marks the third suspension in the month of August alone.
SEC officials announced the suspension on August 24, Thursday. According to reports, the suspension will be effective until 11:59 am ET, September 8, 2017.
According to the SEC filings, the company has changed hands several times and declared early in August that it planned to launch a cryptocurrency exchange to be re-branded as the Bitcoin Crypto Currency Exchange Corporation.
“The Commission temporarily suspended trading in the securities of ARSC because of questions that have arisen regarding publicly available information about the company in press releases on OTCMarkets.com, dated August 1, and August 8, 2017, concerning, among other things, the company’s business transition to the cryptocurrency markets and early adoption of blockchain technology,” an SEC statement read.
SEC cracks down on two other bitcoin traders in August
Not so long ago, the SEC issued a temporary suspension on the shares of the Canada-based, publicly-traded bitcoin firm First Bitcoin Capital. Officials for the securities markets regulator said the suspension was largely due in part to concerns over the information published by the company, which includes the value of the assets it purportedly owns.
First Bitcoin Capital’s shares were traded over-the-counter at $1.79 apiece before the suspension. The company oversaw a number of cryptocurrency-related business lines such as a bitcoin exchange and a network of ATMs.
The suspension began on August 24 at 9:30 a.m. ET, and is expected to last until at least 11:59 am ET on September 7.
“The Commission temporarily suspended trading in the securities of BITCF because of concerns regarding the accuracy and adequacy of publicly available information about the company including, among other things, the value of BITCF’s assets and its capital structure. This order was entered pursuant to Section 12(k) of the Exchange Act,” the SEC stated.
In yet another freeze order, the SEC suspended the trading of shares with the OTC-traded technology company CIAO Group.
According to the SEC, the suspension order was served following concerns about the accuracy of a planned initial coin offering (ICO). The CIAO Group, which was subsequently renamed as NuMelo Technology, traded on markets overseen by OTC Markets Group.
The company first announced plans for an ICO in early July, where it indicated a desire to use blockchain tech to introduce a “digital financial products marketplace” to the to the African market. (Related: Bitcoin miners “holding on with a death grip” as Bitcoin “pipe dream” appears hopelessly obsolete, slow and fractured: An interview with Kevin Lawton.)
“African public stocks from multiple African countries traded in a single cryptocurrency on US trading platforms cleared through DTCC accepted blockchain transactions could monumentally increase the liquidity of investments in African public companies, and give the average individual US investor new access to the extraordinary growth opportunities only found within frontier markets,” a CIAO Group press release read.
The SEC said that questions about the accuracy of the company’s assertions led to its eventual suspension. The suspension began on August 11 at 11:59 p.m. EST and lasted until August 23.