Thursday March 20,2014 : U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION TO EXAMINE BITCOIN STOCK DEAL
Bitcoin denominated sale of SatoshiDice.com under the microscope.
The sale by Erik Voorhees of the controlling interest in Bitcoin-denominated online gambling company SatoshiDice.com appears to be under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a report in Bloomberg business news.
Voorhees revealed last July that he had sold the shares in a Bitcoin-denominated deal to an anonymous “private party”. He has not responded to enquiries on the current SEC investigation.
Bloomberg reports that the SEC has previously expressed the view that such deals may contravene US laws, and that an investigation now appears to be underway.
The SEC has communicated with MPEx, an online exchange for Bitcoin-based trading, to provide contracts and other documents relating to SatoshiDice.com, where the company's shares were listed in 2012.
Mircea Popescu, the MPEx operator to whom the letter was addressed, confirmed its receipt when contacted by Bloomberg but denied any wrongdoing on the exchange's part. The letter from the SEC lists SatoshiDice as the topic of the inquiry without specifying what rules are at issue, he said.
Popescu claims that U.S. securities laws don’t apply to MPEx because Bitcoin doesn’t fall under the legal definition of money.
In January this year an SEC official revealed that the Commission was looking at question of whether Bitcoin-denominated stock exchanges are illegal. U.S. laws require securities-trading platforms to be licensed.
“You can invest in those companies with your Bitcoin online,” the official said. “And so the question is, are those unregistered exchanges or broker dealers operating in violation of the securities laws?”