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Former SEC chief warns against using emojis for investment advice

Former SEC branch chief Lisa Braganca warned the public against using certain emojis in promotional materials following a court ruling that classified DapperLabs’ use of emojis as investment advice.

Braganca issued the warning via Twitter while referring to a recent court ruling against DapperLabs.

Lisa Braganca via Twitter (24/02/2023)

Using emojis relating to rocket ships, stock charts, and money bags could be classified as investment advice, according to the court ruling by Judge Victor Marrero on Feb. 22.

The ruling against emojis was contained in a lawsuit filed against Dapper Labs and its CEO Roham Gharegozlou for allegedly violating securities laws by offering its NBA Top Shot Moments.

NBA Top Shot Moments 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.

“… 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,” the filing stated.

The court filing referenced a tweet in which DapperLabs used the rocket ship, stock market, and money bags emoji to show market performance.


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 the freedom of speech.

Posted In: , Legal, NFTs

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