SEC Chief Warns Against Emojis in 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.
  • The ruling stated that using emojis relating to rocket ships, stock charts, and money bags could be classified as investment advice.
  • The crypto community has argued that Emojis could mean different things to different folks, hence, a rule on its usage could impede the freedom of speech.


A recent court ruling by Judge Victor Marrero on Feb. 22 identified DapperLabs’ use of certain emojis as investment advice. The lawsuit was filed against Dapper Labs and its CEO Roham Gharegozlou for allegedly violating securities laws by offering its NBA Top Shot Moments (non-fungible tokens). The plaintiffs accused Dapper Labs of promoting NBA Shot Moments as investment opportunities through its marketing materials with carefully selected emojis.

Warning Against Using Emoji for Investment Advice

Following the court ruling, former SEC branch chief Lisa Braganca issued a warning via Twitter against using certain emojies in promotional materials. She noted that using emojies such as rocket ships, stock charts and money bags could be considered investment advice. Furthermore, she pointed out the potential implications this would have on freedom of speech if such rules were to be enforced.

Arguments For and Against Using Emoji for Investment Advice

The plaintiffs argued that despite not explicitly mentioning “profit” in any of their tweets, the use of particular emojis can objectively mean one thing: a financial return on investment. On the other hand, Dapper Labs has argued that the use of these images was simply intended to provide accuracy to market data rather than promote sales. Additionally, several members from within the crypto community have also raised their concerns regarding such a rule impeding freedom of speech due to how differently these symbols can be interpreted by different individuals.


In conclusion it is important to note that while emoji may seem like harmless fun they can still carry serious implications when it comes to communication related to investments or securities. As such caution should always be taken when sending any kind of message related to investments or securities online especially if it contains any type of emoji or image which could potentially be misconstrued as offering financial advice or encouraging buyers/investors into purchasing something without fully understanding all associated risks involved in investing.

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