Hivemapper CEO hints tokens equal ownership, SEC may not like it

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On what was a strange Thursday for US-based mapping service Hivemapper, the firm’s CEO and co-founder Ariel Seidman suggested that the project’s upcoming HONEY token will represent ownership in the platform. This is a curious revelation, as any token that represents equity would likely have to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

There’s no data to suggest that Hivemapper has moved to offer registered securities with the SEC.

Read more: Judge rules LBRY’s token is a security — what about XRP?

Hivemapper’s big-name investors

Hivemapper is a decentralized mapping network, made up of ‘Hivemapper dashcams.’ A kind of competitor to Google Maps, but on the blockchain.

While there’s no reasonable suggestion that the project’s HONEY token will actually offer ownership on the platform, there are certainly a lot of big-name funds invested in the startup: Kyle Samani’s Multicoin Capital, David Sacks’ Craft Ventures, co-founder of Solana Raj Gokal, Solana’s other co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko, and Helium founder Amir Haleem.

The move to offer equity for token holders could come as a surprise to the 26 named investors in Hivemapper’s three raises, but it’s far more likely to run afoul of the SEC than anybody who’s invested money in the project.

HONEY has a documentation page explaining that there’s a “fixed supply of 10 billion HONEY tokens.”

Of the 10 billion tokens, 40% are set aside for Hivemapper employees, the foundation, and R&D. Another 20% are set aside for investors — this would presumably amount to around 2 billion HONEY tokens shared between 30+ actual equity holders.

This leaves 40% of the tokens for ‘contributors,’ who are mainly individuals with a Hivemapper dashcam installed in their vehicle.

Read more: Helium insiders owned majority of crypto tokens, Forbes reveals

What does HONEY represent?

It’s not entirely clear, and while Seidman was asked repeatedly about whether the token did indeed represent equity, he refused to comment. The project’s website simply calls the token a “reward” and is careful to never suggest it represents ownership of any kind.

This means that, while the token is a reward for participating in the network, it doesn’t actually offer any sense of ownership to mappers. Instead, it’s a token on a network that offers little but hope that the price will go up.

The two listed board members of Hivemapper are MasterClass COO Mark Williamson and Amir Haleem, chairman, CEO, and founder of Helium. Protos previously reported on Amir Haleem’s racing fetish.

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