CFTC Files Charges in Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme

On September 21st, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the filing of charges against Nicholas Gelfman and Gelfman Blueprint, Inc. (the “Defendants”) for fraud, misappropriation, and issuing false account statements in connection with solicited investments in Bitcoin.  According to the allegations asserted by the CFTC, the Defendants operated a Ponzi scheme, misappropriated funds from investors, and took steps to conceal losses (including by staging a “hack” on its computer systems designed to conceal what were actually trading losses and depletion of funds due to misappropriation). Continue reading “CFTC Files Charges in Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme” from Derivatives & Repo Report Blog here.

Beijing-Based Cryptocurrency Trading Exchanges Told to Announce Trading Halt

Under the impact of the Chinese government’s recent formal notices of halting ICOs, Notice 99 and Joint Notice released on September 2, 2017 and September 4, 2017 respectively [1], Beijing authorities have taken further actions and held meetings with Beijing-based trading platforms with regard to a trading halt on September 15, 2017, following Shanghai’s “verbal notice” of a trading halt and the Shanghai-based exchange BTCChina’s sudden announcement of a halt to its trading on September 14, 2017. Continue Reading

China Halts ICOs and Token Sales and China-Based Trading Platforms Suspend Trading Amid Reports of Additional Government Restrictions

The government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has formally announced a suspension to all ICOs and token offerings and financing activities by releasing two notices, namely, the Notice of Seven Ministries Including the People’s Bank of China on Guard against Risks of Token Offering and Financing (Joint Notice) and Notice on the Rectification of Token Offering and Financing Activities (Zheng Zhi Ban Han [2017] No.99)( Notice 99). Further, there is speculation that formal government action suspending virtual currency trading platforms is imminent, which has already caused major China-based trading platforms to suspend their activities.

In the two formal notices, the Chinese government has identified initial coin offerings (ICOs) as essentially an unapproved illegal public financing highly suspected of facilitating illegal fund-raising, illegal securities offerings, illegal offering and sale of tokens, financial fraud, and pyramid schemes. Accordingly, these documents provide that all types of token offering and financing shall come to a halt. The organizations and individuals who have completed the token offering and financing should plan to withdraw and make other arrangements, protecting the interests of investors and handling the risks properly.

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Blockchain Week in Review – September 15, 2017

Below is a summary of some of the significant legal and regulatory actions that occurred over the past week. This alert is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all such developments, but rather a selection of publicly-reported news that may be of particular interest.

U.S. Developments
Regulatory Updates

Congressional Bill Introduced to Modify Taxation of Small Cryptocurrency Purchases
Last week, Rep. Jared Polis (D – Colo.) and Rep. David Schweikert (R – Ariz.) introduced the Cryptocurrency Tax Fairness Act of 2017 (the “Bill”). The bipartisan legislation creates a structure for taxing purchases made with cryptocurrency. The Bill’s primary goal is to ease the burden on those who make purchases with cryptocurrency by establishing a threshold under which they would not be required to report profits and losses – thus making it easier to keep track of tax obligations. In doing so the Bill would bring cryptocurrency under a Continue Reading

Summary: ISDA Webinar on the Use of DLT and Smart Contracts in Market Infrastructure for Derivatives Processing

Earlier today, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) sponsored a webinar, “The Foundations of an Efficient Market Infrastructure,” that focused on an initiative by ISDA’s Market Infrastructure and Technology Committee to facilitate the adoption of emerging technologies (DLT, smart contracts)into the trading, documentation and processing of derivatives.

The focus of the conference was on derivatives processing and reporting; however, the issues that plague derivatives are relevant to many other financial market processes and activities.  Specifically, the primary challenge with respect to derivatives – a strained infrastructure that is too costly and inefficient to be sustainable – is common throughout the financial markets.  Or, put  differently, the development of technological solutions within the derivatives sector has the potential to become a template for the resolution of similar issues in other sectors of the financial marketplace.  For this reason, today’s webinar may have an appeal that is broader than market participants with an interest in the process of derivatives.

Click here to view a full summary of the information discussed at this informative webinar on our sister blog Derivatives and Repo Report.

Upcoming Token Sale Presentations featuring Perkins Coie LLP!

Upcoming Token Sale Presentations featuring Perkins Coie LLP!

Webinars:

The Token Sale Summit Webinar
September 16
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (PST)

Dax Hansen – is one of the featured speakers

Free to attend: To register and more information, click here.


ICOs: Regulatory Analysis by Jurisdictions Worldwide
September 27, 2017

Sarah Hody – is one of the featured speakers

To register, click here and navigate to “Upcoming” tab, then select and fill out the form.


Seattle:

Seattle Angel Fund Speaker Series

September 27, 2017 | Seattle, WA 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Token Sales Dax Hansen – Speaker

Click here to register.


Seattle Start Up week
Token Sales – Breakfast presentation
by Dax Hansen
Monday, October 2nd  8 – 10 am
Perkins Coie LLP – 1201 Third Avenue Suite 4900

The presentation will provide an overview of key challenges and opportunities presented by blockchain tokens and tokenization, with a focus on the current regulatory landscape applied to token sales.

Seattle Start Up Week is free!  To register, click here.


Bay Area:

UC Berkeley – CryptoEconomics Conference

October 2 – 3, 2017 | Berkeley, CA
University of California, Berkeley
2495 Bancroft Way Berkeley, M.L.K Building – Pauley Ballroom, Berkeley, CA 94720

To register visit link above – 20% off first 10ppl – code PerkinsCoie

Josh Boehm is presenting on Token Sales – Also come meet the some of the team, Lowell Ness, Adrian Fenty and Sarah Hody will be attending!

Blockchain Week in Review – September 1, 2017

Below is a summary of some of the significant legal and regulatory actions that occurred over the past week. This alert is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all such developments, but rather a selection of publicly-reported news that may be of particular interest.

U.S. Developments

Regulatory Updates

SEC Suspends Trading of Four Bitcoin Firms and Warns About ICOs
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a press release this week warning investors about potential ICO scams, including ‘pump-and-dump’ and market manipulation schemes. This warning follows the SEC’s recent temporary trading suspensions of four publicly-listed technology companies. In its press release, the SEC identified certain circumstances that could lead to a suspension of trading, including lack of information resulting from a company’s failure to file periodic reports; doubts about the accuracy of public information including operational and financial information in a company’s press releases or reports; and questions about trading, including trading by insiders and potential market manipulation. Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review – August 18, 2017

Below is a summary of some of the significant legal and regulatory actions that occurred over the past week. This alert is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all such developments, but rather a selection of publicly-reported news that may be of particular interest.

U.S. Developments

Regulatory Updates

Alabama’s New Virtual Currency Regulations
This month, the Alabama Monetary Transmission Act officially replaced the 1961 “Sale of Checks Act.” The bill was passed by the Alabama Legislature in May.  The new Money Transmitter Act covers the regulation of traditional money transfers to virtual currency. It also provides new tools for Continue Reading

Delaware Law Embraces Digital Securities

On May 2, 2016, during a keynote address at Consensus 2016, Jack Markell – Governor of Delaware from 2009 to 2017 – announced a comprehensive program to provide an enabling regulatory and legal environment for the development of blockchain technology in Delaware.

As part of this initiative, Delaware implemented distributed ledger technology for the Delaware Public Archives, as the beta test for the technology within State government. This smart records technology automates compliance with laws pertaining to retention and destruction of archival documents, among other features.

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