Quantstamp, a blockchain security firm, has agreed to repay $28 million raised during its 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) after facing charges from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC alleged that the California-based company conducted an unregistered ICO of “crypto-asset securities.” Quantstamp has since settled the charges, agreeing to a range of measures, including repayment of the funds and the establishment of a “Fair Fund” for affected investors. Let’s delve into the details of the case and its implications for the company and the wider cryptocurrency community.

The Allegations and Settlement

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Source: SEC filing against Quantstamp

The SEC formally charged Quantstamp on July 21, accusing the firm of conducting an unregistered ICO of its native QSP tokens. The ICO, held in October and November 2017, raised over $28 million from approximately 5,000 investors. According to the SEC, the project failed to comply with registration requirements for the issuance and sale of the QSP tokens, which the agency classified as securities.

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To resolve the charges, Quantstamp agreed to a cease-and-desist order from the SEC. The company will also pay a disgorgement of $1,979,201, prejudgment interest of $494,314, and a civil penalty of $1 million. Additionally, the establishment of a “Fair Fund” was mandated to facilitate the return of funds to affected investors.

The Purpose of the Quantstamp ICO


Quantstamp’s ICO aimed to secure funds to develop and market its automated smart contract security auditing platform. The company emphasized the significant market potential of its service, leading investors to expect appreciation in the value of QSP tokens.

However, the SEC found that the ICO did not meet the necessary legal requirements for conducting a securities offering, thereby violating federal securities laws.

Token Transfer and Platform Status

As part of the settlement, Quantstamp agreed to transfer its own QSP token holdings to the Fair Fund administrator. These tokens are set to be permanently disabled or destroyed, preventing their circulation in the cryptocurrency market.

The SEC order also revealed that the project no longer operates or actively supports its automated smart contract security auditing platform. The project’s deployment ceased in June 2019, indicating a shift in the company’s focus and activities.


The outcome of the SEC charges against Quantstamp underscores the importance of compliance with securities regulations in the cryptocurrency space. Unregistered ICOs have been the subject of regulatory scrutiny, and this case serves as a reminder for other blockchain projects to ensure proper adherence to legal requirements.

Quantstamp’s decision to settle the charges and repay the raised funds, along with the establishment of the Fair Fund for investors, highlights the company’s commitment to resolving the matter. As the cryptocurrency industry continues to evolve, regulatory compliance remains a crucial aspect for businesses and investors alike.

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