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SEC Says Backers of Crypto Token Hydro ‘Airdrop’ Broke Its Rules

  • Firm tried to inflate price after giving token away: regulator
  • Hydrogen Technology says the SEC’s case ‘wholly lacks merit’
US Securities and Exchange Commission 
US Securities and Exchange Commission Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg

The company behind the digital coin Hydro and a crypto market-making firm tried to artificially inflate the token’s price after it was offered through a so-called airdrop, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC said on Wednesday that The Hydrogen Technology Corp., its former chief executive officer, Michael Ross Kane, and Tyler Ostern, the CEO of Moonwalkers Trading Ltd., broke its rules by selling tokens the agency identified as securities into a market artificially inflated using bots. The regulator said that the Hydro tokens were initially distributed to investors through a variety of means, including airdrops and as employee compensation.