Emojis have become ubiquitous in modern communication, but a recent court ruling has shed new light on the potential legal implications of their use. In a recent court filing, a United States District Court judge for the Southern District of New York ruled that emojis like the rocket ship, stock chart, and money bags mean "a financial return on investment." This ruling has significant implications for the crypto industry, where the use of emojis in marketing and social media campaigns is widespread.
Former United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) branch chief, Lisa Braganca, warned social media users of the possible legal consequences of using emojis that may imply future gains. She shared a court filing where federal court judge Victor Marrero rejected Dapper Labs' motion to dismiss the complaint alleging that its NBA Top Shot Moments violated security laws. The judge cited tweets made by the NBA Top Shot account, where emojis indicating financial returns were used, even though the word "profit" was not used.
Some members of the crypto community expressed their reactions to the ruling, with one calling it "tragic," while another pointed out that freedom of speech no longer includes emojis. However, Oscar Franklin Tan, the chief legal officer of NFT platform Enjin, warned against creating a "dangerous rule" that considers emojis as securities. Tan argued that courts should protect the "edgy, freewheeling messaging in NFT communities" because emojis are part of free speech.
On Feb. 23, lawyers reacted to the judge's decision to allow the lawsuit against Dapper Labs to continue. They called it absurd for private blockchain assets to be considered securities, which could potentially turn major video game developers, ticketing platforms, and travel rewards programs into SEC-regulated companies. Lawyers also voiced their thoughts on the SEC's actions against Terra, with one calling it "wild."
The ruling on emojis has significant implications for the crypto industry, where the use of emojis has become commonplace in marketing and social media campaigns. It highlights the need for caution when using emojis in any communication related to investments or financial returns. As the crypto industry continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see more legal rulings related to the use of emojis and their implications on securities laws.