This is troublesome. I would like to hear objective arguments.
Hopefully Invictus is not going to get affected but this contradicts what we've heard before about SEC's stand on the issue.
They are not targeting it because it's gambling but because of how it was funded? And they are also going after the investors as well.
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The SEC has no authority over someone who isn't operating inside the USA. This looks like an intimidation tactic.
There might be a reason to have the investigation in the case of money laundering, theft, or something like that, but if it's because of a serious crime it should be the FBI or secret service asking questions and not the SEC.
A SEC representative sent an email request to MPEx operator Mircea Popescu of Romania. Popescu, known as ‘MP’ to the bitcoin community, is widely known for his outspokenness and offered a lengthy defence of bitcoin in his responses to the SEC’s request.
He was contacted by Daphna Waxman, an attorney with the Enforcement Division of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, on 14th February with a request to release a list of all investors in SatoshiDice before its sale in July last year, and an account history for Erik Voorhees, the site’s original owner.
It is not clear if MPEx has broken any rules or even whether the US SEC has any official jurisdiction over a company based in Romania, as Popescu pointed out in the conversation. However it can certainly apply extrajudicial pressure, and Waxman requested he “voluntarily provide” the information instead. After denying Waxman a telephone conversation he wrote:
If you're not a US citizen there is no reason why you'd be obligated to help an investigation which has nothing to do with your jurisdiction. If the government wanted a list of investors as part of a money laundering investigation then a completely different set of agencies would be involved and it wouldn't be one rogue from the SEC.
Thats why AGS are donations and there is no legally binding contract.
Invictus might have to worry being on US soil but thats not the same as Mpex. Mpex has nothing to worry about because they aren't in the US. Romania is operating under a different jurisdiction.
Suppose a company formed in the USA which started off selling stocks in an over the counter market in virtual form, then they went public later on. If they gave everyone money who owned the virtual stocks but those people didn't get legally binding shares then it's not a contract bound by courts.
So I'm not sure what case the SEC would have even in the Satoshi dice instance because the people who owned the virtual shares in Satoshi dice never got real securities.
As far as we know, Angelshares are donations. They might be seen as a loan but not a security because we don't own stock in Invictus. We loaned Invictus money to build Bitshares and after it's built we get something else in exchange for it.
That is really no different from Kickstarter. You have businesses on there where people crowd fund by donating money to the business. It builds some product and then gives the product to the crowd, or it gives prizes, gifts, thank you notes, whatever. That is already legal in the USA which means what Mastercoin, Bitshares and others have done is legal.
The only area of confusion is perhaps the language Invictus was using and the fact that they aren't yet a non profit. If they become a non profit then our donations to them could even be tax exempt if it's set up right.