The Chicago Journal

SEC charges prominent crypto influencer Ian Balina for unregistered ICO four years ago

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says crypto influencer Ian Balina broke the rules during Sparkester’s $ 30,000 ICO more than four years ago.

As a result, the SEC charges the crypto influencer.

The charge

The SEC says the crypto personality has not filed a registration statement with the Commission for listing and selling Sparkster’s SPRK tokens.

There was reportedly no exemption from registration.

According to the SEC, Balina did not disclose the commission he received for promoting the initial offerings of SPRK or ICOICO coins on social media.

Sparkster initially offered investors a portion of its “No Code” software development platform by purchasing SPRK tokens.

Tokens are designed to allow users to develop software with minimal technical programming skills.

As a result, the SEC is calling for “injunctive relief, disgorgement, civil penalties, and other appropriate and necessary equitable relief.”

If the allegations are confirmed, Balina will no longer be able to promote the titles.

The Ethereum contribution

According to the filing, contributions were made to Ethereum to participate in the ICO in the United States.

The file goes:

“[Users’] ETH contributions were validated by a network of nodes on the Ethereum blockchain, which are clustered more densely in the United States than in any other country.”

“As a result, those transactions took place in the United States.”

Balina’s reaction

The crypto influencer responded to the news by taking to Twitter, where he announced he was excited to “go public with this fight.”

“This frivolous SEC charge sets a bad precedent for the entire crypto industry,” he tweeted.

“If investing in a private sale with a discount is a crime, the entire crypto BV space is in trouble.”

“Turned down settlement so they have to prove themselves.”

ICO promotion

Balina awarded the Sparkster token a 90% Hall of Fame rating in its ICO investment chart.

It also promoted it to users of a private Telegram group of about 50 people, according to the SEC filing.

Since then, the Cayman Islands-based company has been dissolved.

The SEC approved ICO SPRK took place between April and July 2018.

It raised about $ 30 million from nearly 4,000 investors in the United States and abroad.

Balina is said to have signed an agreement to invest $ 5 million from Sparkster’s offer before promoting the token on YouTube, Telegram, and other social media platforms.

Although the SEC said he accepted a 30% bonus on the tokens purchased in the offer, Balina has never revealed his consideration for the promotion.


Yesterday the SEC announced that Sparkster and CEO Sajjad Daya agreed to pay $ 35 million to interested investors.

Carolyn M. Welshhans, deputy director of the application of the century, said that the agreement has made it possible to give an important amount to investors.

It also calls for additional measures to protect these investors, including disabling tokens to prevent future sales.

She also said the Balina lawsuit is protecting investors “by seeking to hold accountable an alleged crypto asset promoter for failures to follow the federal securities laws.”


SEC charges crypto influencer Ian Balina over unregistered ICO in 2018