Blockchain Bites: Major Crypto Players Sued, Steem Froze Accounts and More

At least 10 class action lawsuits were filed against major crypto firms and personalities accusing them of offering unregistered securities.

The thread tying it all together? The lawsuits were filed by the same boutique law firm – Roche Cyrulnik Freedman – heading up another high profile case involving bitcoin’s (BTC) self-defined creator and antagonist Craig S. Wright. No matter the outcome, these suits could provide clarity around the open question of when a token offering could fall under U.S. securities law.

This is Blockchain Bites, the daily roundup of the most pivotal stories in blockchain and crypto news, and why they’re significant. You can subscribe to this and all of CoinDesk’s newsletters here.

Class action
Plaintiffs filed at least 10 class action lawsuits against some of the biggest names in crypto, including Binance, KuCoin and BitMEX operator HDR Global Trading, as well as blockchain projects like Tron, Block.One and Kyber Network. The thread tying these cases together? Accusations the companies facilitated the sale of unregistered securities (aka “tokens”) to the public. 

Frozen steem
Witnesses on Steem have frozen eight accounts, putting a total of 17.6 million steem (worth approximately $3.2 million) in limbo. “We are at an extremely difficult time in the history of Steem, and the power of communities are [sic] the key to make Steem great again,” said a Steemit blog announcing the move. A tit-for-tat between Steem’s old and new leadership boiled over after Justin Sun purchased a majority stake in the Steem blockchain two months ago. Dissident token holders forked to a new blockchain called Hive, and it now appears some of their original Steem tokens are locked. 

Going digital
Researchers at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) think COVID-19 may accelerate the adoption of digital payments and sharpen the debate over central bank digital currencies (CBDC). Issuing their forecast in BIS’s April 3 Bulletin, they researchers said…

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