A judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has ruled that emoticons like a rocket ship, stock chart and money bags represent a “financial return on investment,” according to a recent court filing.
In a tweet, former head of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Lisa Braganca warned users about the possible legal consequences of using emoticons that may indicate future profits. She tweeted:
A federal court judge ruled that these emoticons objectively mean “one thing: a financial return on investment.” Users of these emoticons are hereby warned of the legal consequences of their use. #emojis #rocketshipemoji #DapperLabs https://t.co/4yRfWBH96R
— former SEC Chief Lisa Braganca (@LisaBraganca) February 23, 2023
Braganca shared link to court filing where federal court judge Victor Marrero denied Dapper Labs’ motion to dismiss an amended complaint alleging that its NBA Top Shot Moments violated safety laws.
As part of the filing, the judge pointed out that some of the tweets posted by the NBA Top Shot Twitter account contained emoticons denoting financial returns. “And while the literal word ‘profit’ is not included in any of the tweets, the ‘rocket ship’, ‘stock chart’ and ‘money bag’ emojis objectively mean one thing: financial return on investment,” they said. he wrote
Members of the crypto community reacted to the warning, tweeting various reactions. One Twitter user described news as “tragic” while others pointed that free speech no longer applies to emoticons. Meanwhile, the user decided to make a statement about the meaning of their use of emoticons.
On February 23, lawyers also responded to the judge’s decision for the lawsuit against Dapper Labs to take place. US attorney Jake Chervinsky pointed out that “it would be absurd” for a US court to consider assets on private blockchains to be securities. Chervinsky explained that this could turn every major video game developer, ticketing platform and travel rewards program into an SEC-regulated company.
Related: SEC lawsuit against Paxos over BUSD disrupts crypto community
Lawyers were similarly intrigued by how the SEC went after Terra. On February 17, crypto lawyers took to Twitter to express your opinion on the issue The SEC claims that Terra sold a set of crypto-asset securities. Web3 attorney Mike Selig explained that anything can be a security under this theory, while attorney Justin Browder described the SEC’s actions as “wild.”