TOP > News > [Avoiding Jurisdiction?] SEC Studies Calata-led KROPS ICO
July 30, 2018 Updated

The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating an ICO launched by the people behind the embattled agri-firm Calata Corp.



You might have remembered the embattled agri-firm Calata Corp’s recent delisting on the Philippine Stock Exchange because of multiple violations and its plan to launch an ICO. Apparently, the ICO was launched but not with Calata Corp.

In an earlier report, we learned that the agrifirm’s CEO – Mr. Joseph Calata was initially planning to move Calata Corp to a cryptocurrency exchange and launch the “Calcoins” ICO. Every Calata stock would then be converted to Calcoins, which can be traded in various cryptocurrency exchanges. This did not materialize.

krops ico

KROPS

Apparently, Mr. Calata launched an ICO for KROPS, an online farm produce marketplace. It has a mobile app where you can buy directly from the farmers. KROPS’ Facebook Page is not new and seems to have been around for some time. While we have not browse around its Facebook page that long, its social media activity does not feature Mr. Calata on any of its recent posts. He is, however, the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Also, here is an earlier report from Malaya with Mr. Calata demonstrating the Krops app.

Krops is owned by Black Cell Technology, which is based in Hong Kong but the contact number is a Philippine-one. It is also owned by Calata.

The ICO

As early as December 19, 2017, someone had noticed the KROPS ICO and posted it in the Facebook Group – Traders Apprentice Pilipinas. (The group is private so the previous link may not work for you).

The ICO is happening in 5 stages, the current one started in January 1st and will end on January 15, 2018. We browsed KROP’s social media page and we can confirm there was no mention of the ICO atleast from December 14, 2017 onwards. We have not browsed earlier dates.

SEC Reaction

The Security and Exchange Commission, when alerted about the existence of the KROPS ICO said the following in a message sent to Inquirer:

SEC is looking into this matter already. We thank the concerned public for bringing this matter to our attention. – SEC Chair Teresita Herbosa

Calata’s Reaction

In a statement, Calata Corp mentioned that the SEC has no jurisdiction over this because KROPS is registered in Hong Kong.

New Developments Regarding ICO in PH

However, it should be noted that SEC has recently released an official advisory on ICOs in the Philippines. As they are investment schemes, the tokens sold in ICOs are classified as Securities and therefore covered by the Securities Regulation Code (SRC). With that, Calata has to register this activity with the SEC.

Overall – Where is this Krops ICO heading?

With the official advisory now released to the public, we can infer that the SEC will be actively studying all ICOs that will happen in the country, and the KROPS ICO will be no exception.

Krops, the mobile app, seems to be a very good idea. But with the recent negative press surrounding its leadership, one has to question whether launching an ICO for Krops is directly related to the delisting and ongoing obligations of Calata Corp to its shareholders.

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