• The US court ruled that using emojis related to rocket ships, stock charts and money bags can be classified as investment advice.
• A lawsuit was filed against Dapper Labs and its CEO Roham Gharegozlou for allegedly violating securities laws by offering their NBA Top Shot Moments.
• Former SEC branch chief Lisa Braganca warned the public against using certain emojis in promotional materials following the ruling.
SEC Chief Warns Against Using Emojis
Former SEC branch chief Lisa Braganca has issued a warning to the public about using certain emojis in promotional materials following a recent court ruling against DapperLabs. The US court ruled that using emojis relating to rocket ships, stock charts, and money bags could be classified as investment advice.
Lawsuit Filed Against DapperLabs
A lawsuit was filed against Dapper Labs and its CEO Roham Gharegozlou for allegedly violating securities laws by offering their NBA Top Shot Moments which are non-fungible tokens (NFT) that capture key highlights and video clips from NBA games. The plaintiffs accused Dapper Labs of promoting NBA Shot Moments as investment opportunities, through its marketing materials with carefully selected emojis.
Court Ruling on Emoji Use
The court filing referenced a tweet in which DapperLabs used the rocket ship, stock market, and money bags emoji to show market performance. Judge Victor Marrero stated that “… although the literal word „profit“ is not included in any of the Tweets, the „rocket ship“ emoji, „stock chart“ emoji, and „money bags“ emoji objectively mean one thing: a financial return on investment.“
Dapper Labs Argument
Dapper Labs has argued that the use of the emojis in the tweets was intended to provide accuracy to market data and not a means of promoting sales. However several members of the crypto community have argued that Emojis could mean different things to different folks hence a rule on its usage could impede freedom of speech.
In conclusion, former SEC branch chief Lisa Braganca has warned against using certain emojis in promotional materials due to it being seen as investment advice after a recent court ruling involving DapperLabs. Despite their argument that it was only meant for providing accuracy to market data there is still an ongoing debate over whether this impairs freedom of speech or not.