What is the Kim Kardashian crypto controversy about?

The SEC announced a $1.26 million settlement with the reality star on October 3

Kim Kardashian Crypto controversy image; kim kardashian arriving to good morning america in slick black clothes and sunglasses like she's in the matrix
(Image credit: James Devaney/GC Images)

Whoops—Kim Kardashian seems to have found herself in a bit of trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

Last week, the reality star was busy promoting the launch of SKIMS bras and trying to dodge the snide remarks about her "minimalist" Skkn by Kim home line, but this week, the reality star is in a new predicament regarding a crypto token sold by EthereumMax. 

What's happening? We have the intel.

Kim Kardashian crypto controversy: what's going on

In June 2021, Kardashian promoted the EthereumMax tokens on her Instagram stories.

"Are you guys into Crypto," she wrote. "This is not financial advice, but sharing what my friends just told me about the Ethereum Max token."

The post continued, "A few minutes ago Ethereum Max burned 400 trillion tokens—literally 50% of their admin wallet giving back to the entire e-max community."

She included a variety of hashtags, including #ad, before offering her followers a chance to swipe up for more information. However, the fact that she did not indicate that she was being paid to promote the tokens is ultimately what landed her in trouble. 

"Ms. Kardashian’s case also serves as a reminder to celebrities and others that the law requires them to disclose to the public when and how much they are paid to promote investing in securities," Gary Gensler, the SEC chair, said in a statement.

The SEC announced a $1.26 million settlement on October 3 with Kardashian for not indicating that she was receiving payment. The SEC said the influencer was paid by EthereumMax through an intermediary, but has been cooperative throughout the investigation process. 

Patrick Gibbs, one of her attorneys, told The New York Times that Kardashian "pleased to have resolved this matter with the SEC" and is now able to move forward with her new business projects (i.e. many a SKIMS launch). 

Overall, $1.26 million is a drop in the bucket for one of the richest Kardashian family members—who is reportedly worth over $1 billion—but it is certainly an expensive lesson to learn. Full disclosure goes a long way.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.