The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has denied a request for information regarding the Tezos blockchain project, citing an exemption typically applied to records gathered for law enforcement activities.
The denial letter was addressed to attorney David Silver of the SilverMiller law firm and dated Feb. 6, in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request he submitted at the start of the month. Silver is representing plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in November, one of several such cases filed in the wake of Tezos' $232 million ICO from last year.
According to a copy of the letter obtained by CoinDesk, the U.S. securities regulator withheld "information concerning Tezos" citing Exemption 7(A), which allows for exemptions in the case of enforcement activities.
The letter does not state that Tezos is under investigation by the SEC.
The SEC wrote:
"This exemption protects from disclosure records compiled for law enforcement purposes, the release of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement activities. Since Exemption 7(A) protects the records from disclosure, we have not determined if other exemptions apply. Therefore, we reserve the right to assert other exemptions when Exemption 7(A) no longer applies."
In Silver's interpretation, the letter proves that the SEC is actively investigating the blockchain project, which has been roiled by a governance crisis in recent months.
"Consistent with what [SEC chair] Jay Clayton said at the Senate hearing this week, I'm happy to learn that the SEC is investigating Tezos, as many clients are going to eventually learn that their investments are worthless," he told CoinDesk. Silver has also filed lawsuits on behalf of customers of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange Cryptsy and bitcoin miner Giga Watt.
However, the letter goes on to say that as a matter of policy, the SEC "does not disclose the existence or non-existence of an investigation or information gathered unless made a matter of public record in proceedings brought before the Commission or in the courts."
A representative for Arthur and Kathleen Breitman, the founders of Tezos, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
SEC emblem image via Shutterstock
The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at email@example.com.
Cloud Giant Xunlei Claims Blockchain Advance With 'ThunderChain'
Xunlei, the NASDAQ-listed cloud network provider, has launched its proprietary blockchain platform, despite ongoing class actions over an alleged initial coin offering (ICO).
At a press event in Be
Taiwan Eyes November Deadline for Bitcoin AML Regulation
Taiwan aims to formally regulate bitcoin under anti-money laundering (AML) rules before the end of the year.
According to the Taiwan Central News Agency, Chiu Tai-san, the country's minister of jus
Bitcoin Bull Trap? Not So, Says Lesser-Known Price Indicator
Is the reversal of a lesser-known bitcoin price indicator signaling a bull trap?
That's the question being asked by Twitter's more expert crypto analysts after bitcoin's rise to $8,500 this week, a
JPMorgan Trial Puts Debt Issuance on a Blockchain
JPMorgan Chase has partnered with National Bank of Canada and other major firms to trial a blockchain platform aimed to improve the debt issuance process.
As reported by Reuters, the investment ban
Stellar Run: XLM, IOTA, ADA Spike in Good Week for Altcoins
Alternative cryptocurrencies shone bright this week, as the wider cryptocurrency market saw continued resurgence.
The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies rose 25 percent week-on-wee
LedgerX's Bitcoin Derivatives Trading Is Up 7X Since Launch
Bitcoin trading platform LedgerX has seen a sevenfold increase in volume in the six months following its launch of cryptocurrency derivatives.
Chief operating officer Juthica Chou told CoinDesk tha
Likely New York Fed president says bitcoin 'doesn't pass the basic test' for a currency
The central banker expected to be the next head of the New York Fed doesn't think much of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. "Cryptocurrency doesn't pass the basic test of what a currency should
Bitcoin Pyramid Scheme Amassed $20 Million in South Korea
Two men from South Korea have been sentenced for creating a bitcoin pyramid scheme that swindled some 20 billion Korean won ($20 million) from investors.
On April 19, a judge from Seoul's Incheon D