Scams, Fraudsters, the SEC, and the OTC

By: Robert Grosshandler | December 3, 2019

When you’re trying to change the world by doing something that’s never really been done before, it’s nice to have friends with influence. Making every customer a shareholder, and every shareholder a customer is a big first. Even more so when those customers are ordinary people, not fat cats. That invariably means that people will ask: Are they for real? What’s the catch? Could they be scamming me?

Take a look at the world of cryptocurrency. It seems that every day, some new and more terrible fact about scams and disappearing coins comes to light. Not every crypto, not every player, but way too many for my taste.

We have the amazing advantage of offering a security that anybody can earn, buy, or sell. We live inside the U.S. financial system, regulated by the SEC and FINRA. Sure, it adds costs and pain (they’re usually connected).

But it means that there is a whole army (really, armies) of lawyers and bureaucrats working to protect your interests. They’re also engaged in protecting the interests of issuers (like iConsumer) and the middlemen (the broker dealers e.g. Fidelity). FINRA looks out for the broker dealers, our attorneys (and I try) to look out for us and our shareholders, and the SEC tries to draft rules and regulations that make it work for all parties.

Right now, the SEC is working on rewriting the rules that govern how easy it is for you to buy and sell RWRDP. They’ve asked for comments by December 30, 2019. Our SEC attorney, plus the OTC market folks, are deeply engaged in this process. Whenever you look at our financial statements and wonder why our legal expenses are so big, this is one of the reasons.

If you’re interested in taking a look at the document the SEC publishes as part of their rule making process, here it is. I spent about two hours reading it, and I was really only skimming it. So I’m not suggesting you actually read it, unless falling asleep is a challenge. I find it fascinating how they care about the effects their rule changes might have, and how they measure those effects. And, of course, I care about how it might make our lives better or worse.

Here’s the press release from the SEC (the fact sheet at the end is a much easier read).

Why do we care?

While our goal is to uplist to an exchange (anytime I talk about the $4 stock price, that’s shorthand for being worthy of being listed on an exchange) we’re currently quoted on the OTC market. The proposed rules are intended to make it much, much harder for scammy companies to be quoted on the OTC, which in turn should make the remaining companies’ status as “good” companies stand out more. And that, it is hoped, will lead to more interest, and thus more liquidity. And THAT should help our price go up, or at a minimum make it easier to buy and sell our stock.

At the end of the day, what will really make our stock easier to buy and sell is lots of people shopping.