Former SEC Chief Warns: Don’t Use Emojis for Investment Advice
25. Februar 2023
• A recent court ruling found that using emojis relating to rocket ships, stock charts and money bags could be classified as investment advice.
• Former SEC branch chief Lisa Braganca has warned the public against using certain emojis in promotional materials following the ruling.
• The lawsuit was filed against Dapper Labs and its CEO Roham Gharegozlou for allegedly violating securities laws by offering their NBA Top Shot Moments.
Court Ruling on Emoji Use as Investment Advice
A recent court ruling has determined that the use of emojis relating to rocket ships, stock charts, and money bags may be classified as investment advice. This ruling was part of a lawsuit brought against Dapper Labs and its CEO Roham Gharegozlou who were accused of violating securities laws by offering their NBA Top Shot Moments.
Warning from Former SEC Chief
Following the court ruling, former SEC branch chief Lisa Braganca took to Twitter to warn the public against using certain emojis in promotional materials. The filing referenced a tweet in which DapperLabs used the rocket ship, stock market, and money bags emoji to show market performance which was deemed as promoting sales and therefore constituted investment advice.
What are NBA Top Shot Moments?
NBA Top Shot Moments are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that capture key highlights and video clips from NBA games. These NFTs have been offered by Dapper Labs as an investment opportunity through their marketing materials with carefully selected emojis which ultimately led to this lawsuit.
Arguments on Emoji Usage
Dapper Labs has argued that the use of these emojis in tweets was intended merely to provide accuracy on market data rather than promote sales, however several members of the crypto community have argued that Emojis could mean different things to different people thus restricting freedom of speech if rules were imposed around emoji usage.
It is clear from this case that extra caution should be taken when using certain emojis in promotional materials or when investing in NFTs such as NBA Top Shots moments due to how they can be interpreted by regulators under securities law guidelines.