10 blockchain firms, as well as cryptocurrency companies affected by the United States (US) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sanctions, has been given COVID-19 aid fund from the US Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
According to data from the Small Business Administration, 10 blockchain firms were beneficiaries of the US PPP to assist their companies in paying their staff and keeping the company running during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The US Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was launched by the US Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump, in a bid to assist businesses to keep their workforce employed during the pandemic and also to provide loans to eligible businesses to prevent job losses in the country.
Notably, out of the total $660 billion allocated by the US government for the PPP, $150,000 were given to the 10 blockchain firms affected by SEC sanctions. Additionally, reports indicate that the US government may forgive these loans if employers use the majority of funds to pay payroll expenses or property-related operational expenses.
Although, many raised alarms over the PPP’s vulnerability to fraud and improper payments. There has been no indication that these 10 blockchain firms obtained the federal funds fraudulently or in violation of any other rules.
10 blockchain firms who received the US PPP fund
According to a news report, the SEC-sanctioned 10 blockchain firms that received the PPP fund are:
- Cherubim Interests Inc. (CHIT), incorporated in Nevada and operating in Bedford, Texas. The SEC suspended trading of the company’s shares in Release No. 34-82347 on 12/18/2017 while investigating possible fraud and corporate misreporting.
- The Crypto Company, incorporated in Nevada and operating in Malibu, California. The corporation was investigated on allegations of fraud by SEC. Its stock was subsequently halted for trading.
- SecondMarket, Inc., formerly known as Genesis Global Trading, acquired to form NASDAQ Private Markets. Incorporated in Delaware and operating in NYC.
- Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services, Inc. Incorporated and currently operating in California. The corporation was issued an emergency asset freeze, a receiver appointment, and a trading halt following alleged financial fraud.
- Paragon Coin Inc., an online entity incorporated in Delaware whose primary operations were in Southern California. The Commission issued the organization a cease-and-desist order following Securities Act violations.
- Gladius Network LLC, incorporated in Nevada and currently operating in Washington, DC. The SEC charged the company with conducting an illegal offering and settled when the company agreed to repay $12.7 million to investors.
- TamarinHealth, formerly known as SimplyVital Health, Inc., incorporated in Delaware and primarily operating in Brighton, Massachusetts. The Commission issued the organization a cease-and-desist order following Securities Act violations.
- ICOBox, incorporated in the Cayman Islands and operating in Beverly Hills, California. The SEC alleged that the corporation violated the Securities Act and utilized interstate means to conduct illegal business in a District Court, Central District of California case.
- UnitedData, Inc., doing business as Shopin, incorporated in Delaware and operating in NYC. The SEC filed a complaint and jury demand in a District Court, Southern District of New York case, identified as Case 1:19-cv-11325.
- Bitclave PTE Ltd., incorporated in Singapore and operating in San Jose, California. The organization was issued a cease-and-desist order by the SEC following Securities Act violations.
COVID-19 PPP fund must be transparent
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has announced that all blockchain firm granted the federal bailouts from the economic havoc wreaked by the coronavirus crisis should be transparent in their spending of allocated funds.
Companies should disclose how they spend the money. The need for bailout money or other sources of cash is sensitive information. I encourage companies to get out there disclose where they stand to limit speculation about the companies’ plans,” Clayton said.