Kik advisor ordered to court over company’s fight with the SEC

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As the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues its attack on social media platform Kik for allegedly offering unregistered securities through its 2017 initial coin offering (ICO), the financial regulator wanted Kik CEO Ted Livingston to face the commission’s scrutiny in court. However, according to the latest information in the ongoing saga, attorneys have agreed that another individual will appear in his place. Now facing a new deposition, technical advisor Tanner Philp will respond to the SEC’s questions over Kik’s cryptocurrency endeavors.

Attorneys for the SEC and Kik met with District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein yesterday to discuss the litigation. Hellerstein had previously ordered Livingston to appear in court to face grilling by the commission, but the legal teams have agreed to allow Philp to step forward, instead. It will be the second time that the technical advisor has been deposed in the case.

Kik, which created the ICO for its Kin cryptocurrency, has been fighting the SEC’s position that it offered illegal securities. It has tried to have the case thrown out, only to find its efforts rejected by a judge. It has also argued that written statements previously provided by the company contained all of the data that could be included in further testimony and that further depositions were not warranted. Those claims have also been rejected. 

As a result, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which is overseeing the case, wants Philp to come forward to provide more details. Specifically, it wants data related to Kik’s operations from 2018 until now, and not on the ICO activity itself. 

According to his own bio, Philp began his career in crypto after writing a college thesis on Bitcoin in 2013. He would later get a job “supporting the CFO of a fledging chat app called Kik” and ultimate was involved in the initial proof-of-concept for Kin.  

The renewed push for more input on the part of the SEC is only going to cause the ongoing litigation to be dragged out even longer. Kik would like to see the case taken to trial in order to try to find a quicker resolution, but the continued deposition requests are postponing those efforts. Previously, it was expected that a summary judgment could be seen sometime this summer, but the SEC’s efforts might make the legal battle continue until the end of the year. 

These delays have already put a strain on Kik’s finances, but the company is determined to see its fight through to the end. It has had to shed most of its operations, selling its communications platform to a third party, and is trying to manage its wallet tighter in preparation for a drawn-out battle. 

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