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Basic Attention Token Nosedives 20% Amidst SEC Crackdown Concerns

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The native cryptocurrency token powering the Brave browser, Basic Attention Token, has fallen 20% overnight over concerns stemming from the SEC’s recent crackdown.

BAT Faces Deep Correction After Coinbase Listing Surge

While Bitcoin and much of the rest of the cryptocurrency market continue to struggle to break out through long-term downtrend resistance, Basic Attention Token (BAT), has been on quite a run in recent weeks starting around the beginning of October in anticipation of a potential listing on San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

BAT, which powers a crypto token economy through the Brenden Eich-developed Brave browser, started the month of October at roughly 16 cents, but has since more than doubled in value as Coinbase added the token for trading on its various platforms. BAT appeared unstoppable, reaching a price of 36 cents each at its recent peak. However, BAT is now correcting, plummeting over 20% overnight to 29 cents per token.

Related Reading: BAT’s Brendan Eich Not Affected By Bear Market

Coinbase listed BAT for trading last week, which helped to send the price of the token skyrocketing as retail investors FOMO-ed into the sub-$1 cryptocurrency. When a new coin gets listed on Coinbase, it often experiences a massive surge – such was the case with decentralized exchange token ZRX – followed by a large correction. However, BAT’s correcting is deeper than normal, suggesting there could be more at play than simple profit taking.

Security Token Scare Sends Shockwave Throughout Crypto Landscape

Basic Attention Token is an Ethereum-based ERC20 token.

Yesterday, news broke that Zachary Coburn, founder of the decentralized cryptocurrency exchange EtherDelta was charged by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for operating an unregistered securities exchange. 

Coburn was forced to settle with the SEC and agreed to pay $300,000 in disgorgement, $13,000 in prejudgment interest, and a $75,000 penalty.

The SEC’s move was the first of its kind, and proves that not even decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges are safe from the chief financial regulator’s oversight. The SEC’s order specifically mentions that EtherDelta’s users made over 3.6 million trades of “ERC-20 tokens, including tokens that are securities under the federal securities law.”

The mere mention that the SEC might view certain ERC20 tokens as securities has been enough to instill investors with fear, and may be the reason for the aggressive selloff BAT is currently experiencing. 

The SEC views most cryptocurrencies born from initial coin offerings (ICOs) to be securities, but has since clarified that both Bitcoin and Ethereum are not deemed as such. However, the SEC has left investors uncertain about any coins beyond the top two by market cap.

BAT is considered a utility token, as it’s used to power the Brave browser, but did indeed start out as an ICO. The BAT ICO famously sold out in only 30 seconds, raising $35 million in the process. The fact that BAT is an ERC20 token born from an ICO, could make it a potential target for the SEC, and that fear is enough for investors to begin dumping their BAT holdings.

Featured image from Shutterstock.


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