The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) asked Tierion to repay investors in their TNT tokens after discovering that the data-validation startup’s $ 25 million coin offer (ICO) was in violation of securities laws.
TNT holders and ICO investors who sold their tokens at a loss have 60 days to ask Tierion for a refund – at cost plus interest. Node operators can sell their compensatory TNT back to Tierion for 0.01 cents plus interest.
Tierion must immediately disable trading of its ERC-20 token, which is executed on the Ethereum blockchain, according to the agreement announced on Wednesday. It will pay fines of SEC $ 250,000. Tierion has not admitted or denied any wrongdoing, according to the SEC. The SEC has also issued a Reg D waiver to Tierion, which means it doesn’t have to register future private placements of securities because it cooperates.
The order effectively blows up 1 billion TNT tokens. At the time of the 2017 ICO, Tierion has classified it as a “billing method” between users of the data review network, a “chainpoint protocol” and an “incentive” to secure the network. The contract states that Tierion has sold 350 million TNT to 4,800 investors.
But Tierion, which at one point was acquired by Microsoft, plans to proceed without TNT. Founder and CEO Wayne Vaughn told CoinDesk in a text message that the deal will allow Tierion to “move forward with little regulatory effort”. He described TNT’s death as a sign of “retirement”.
“This announcement does not affect the availability of any current Tierion product or open source software,” Tierion said in a Medium post.