The self-proclaimed world's first decentralized search ecosystem BitClave has caved to the SEC. In an announcement today, the SEC said that BitClave will return the $25 million it raised in a 2017 ICO.

BitClave will pay prejudgment interest of $3 million, and a penalty of $400,000.

BitClave promised a better internet. Image: Shutterstock.

BitClave raised the funds between June and November 2017 to investors around the world, including in the US. But it failed, like most ICOs, to register its tokens as securities.

"BitClave emphasized its expectation that the tokens would increase in value, and took steps to make the tokens available for trading on third-party digital asset trading platforms after the ICO," the SEC stated.

“Issuers of securities, traditional or digital, must comply with the registration requirements of the federal securities laws,” said Kristina Littman, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit. “The remedies ordered by the Commission will provide meaningful relief to investors in this unregistered offering.”

A fair fund has been established to return the money back to individuals who participated. The SEC added that BitClave is in the process of winding down its project and the token has been delisted from several exchanges. BitClave will disable the rest of the funds it owns.

The SEC has also dropped the hammer on other ICO projects. It charged Block.one $24 million for its EOS offering and Enigma $500,000 for its ICO.