Perkins Coie LLP is pleased to bring you this updated Digital Asset SEC Timeline.

The Digital Asset SEC Timeline serves as an interactive compilation of select SEC guidance, enforcement actions, and speeches relating to the application of the federal securities laws to digital assets. Beginning with the release of the DAO Investigative Report in July 2017, the Timeline includes relevant information for analyzing the offering, issuance, and trading of certain digital assets in the context of the federal securities laws.

This Timeline is meant to be a resource for those following SEC actions and guidance related to digital assets and to assist experienced securities counsel in assessing the applicability of the federal securities laws. The Timeline is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you are, or are planning to engage in transactions involving digital assets, you may want to contact experienced securities counsel.

Information in the Timeline is provided “as-is,” and may not reflect the latest guidance from the SEC and/or other federal or state regulatory authorities. The Timeline contains links to third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader or user. Use of and access to the Timeline, including the links contained within the Timeline, do not create an attorney-client relationship with Perkins Coie LLP.

Weekly Focus:

  • CFTC Releases Digital Asset Primer
  • Coinbase Submits Form S-1 to the Securities and Exchange Commission
  • CME Announces Ethereum Futures Product Launch in February 2021
  • Paxos Conducts $142 Million Series C Raise
  • FinCEN Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with New Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements for Digital Asset Transactions
  • Figure Applies for OCC Charter
  • Compound Releases Whitepaper Describing Product to Add Interoperability Between Chains
  • Germany Legalizes Electronic Securities on the Blockchain

Continue Reading Blockchain Week in Review: Week of December 18, 2020

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently released a Digital Assets Primer that provides updated information to the public about emerging concepts in digital assets. The primer is part of a series issued by the CFTC’s innovation office, LabCFTC, and is the second to delve into issues surrounding digital assets.

The Digital Assets Primer is a helpful high level overview of the digital asset marketplace, and regulatory considerations under the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act and related CFTC regulations.

Here are a few observations that we believe are noteworthy:

  • The Primer establishes Digital Assets as a broad term that may encompass physical or virtual assets, a value, or a use right/service, and can include smart contracts.
  • While the CFTC has referred to Digital Assets before, such as in the Final Interpretive Guidance regarding Retail Commodity Transactions Involving Certain Digital Assets, this is the first time that a CFTC document specifically identifies Virtual Currencies, Digital Tokens, and Digital Assets.
    • The primer describes Virtual Currency as “a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and/or a store of value”, and places it as a subset of Digital Assets, alongside Digital Tokens.
    • A Digital Token is defined as a “digital asset that requires another blockchain network to operate and may serve a variety of functions beyond virtual currency, e.g., utility tokens.”
  • The CFTC Primer specifies that : “Depending on its design, function, and use, a digital asset may be characterized differently, including as a commodity, swap or other derivative” depending upon its characteristics, and describes potential considerations in any evaluation of a Digital Asset to determine which regulatory frameworks may apply.
  • The Primer also walks through its jurisdiction over Digital Assets and Digital Asset market oversight.

A full press release from the CFTC announcing the release of the Primer can be found here.

Weekly Focus:

  • Members of Congress Request SEC Clarity On Digital Securities Custody
  • Digital Asset ‘Stacks’ Plans 2.0 Launch as Non-Security
  • Secretary Mnuchin Emphasizes G7 Coordination on Digital Currencies
  • CFTC and SEC Leaders to Step Down
  • DOJ Indicts ICO Promoter for Tax Fraud, SEC Files Civil Suit
  • France Strengthens Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Requirements for Digital Asset Companies
  • Thailand Plans to Incorporate Blockchain into Tax Revenue Collection Systems

Continue Reading Blockchain Week in Review: Week of December 11, 2020

Weekly Focus:

  • Congress Members Introduce Stablecoin Legislation
  • FINRA Grants Securitize Green Light for Broker-Dealer/ATS Acquisition
  • SEC Establishes Transition of FinHub to Separate Office
  • SIFMA, PwC Publish White Paper on Interplay Between Digital Assets and the Securities Markets
  • Bitcoin Development Fund Launches Using Open-Source Funding Model
  • Ethereum 2.0 Milestone Reached
  • S&P Dow Jones Indices Announces Plan to Launch Cryptocurrency Indexes in 2021
  • China-Based Bank Halts Planned Digital Bond Sale Shortly Before Launch
  • Ukraine Crypto-Specific Bill Progresses Through Parliament
  • German Private Bank Announces Cryptocurrency Fund Launch

Continue Reading Blockchain Week in Review: Week of December 4, 2020

Weekly Focus:

  • Jay Clayton to step down as Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Brian Brooks nominated to five-year term as Comptroller of Currency
  • Origin Protocol attacked, resulting in estimated loss of $7 million
  • SEC issues no-action letter for IMVU
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group plans launch of blockchain payments network in 2021
  • Texas State Securities Board files emergency cease-and-desist orders against ten digital asset investment platforms

Continue Reading Blockchain Week in Review: Week of November 20, 2020

Perkins Coie is pleased to announce that it has obtained no-action relief from the Securities and Exchange Commission Staff that clears the way for its client IMVU Inc., to sell VCOIN, a blockchain-based digital asset, as a transferable non-security to its users worldwide.

IMVU is the world’s largest avatar-based social platform with a global network of over 7 million monthly active users. These users create 3D avatars to meet new friends, interact, and play games in virtual environments online and through IMVU’s app.

“We are thrilled the SEC staff has granted IMVU’s request for relief in connection with IMVU’s sale of its new blockchain-based digital asset, VCOIN,” said Michael Didiuk, an investment management and blockchain technology and digital currency partner in Perkins Coie’s New York office. “This is the first SEC staff no-action letter involving a blockchain-based digital asset that can be transferred outside of a closed platform and exchanged for fiat currency. With these important features, VCOIN is a new way for IMVU’s users to earn value that can be converted into cash and used in the real world.”

The Perkins Coie team that represented IMVU before the SEC Staff included Michael Didiuk; Joshua Boehm, a technology transactions and privacy law counsel in Perkins Coie’s Phoenix office; and Michael Selig, a technology transactions and privacy law associate in the firm’s New York office.

SEC – Response of the Division of Corporate Finance can be found here.

Our letter on behalf of IMVU, Inc. can be found here.

Weekly Focus:

  • DOJ Seizes More Than $1 Billion in Cryptocurrency from Silk Road Hacker
  • CFTC Announces Charges Against Digital Asset Ponzi Scheme
  • SEC’s Enforcement Division Collected $4.68 Billion in 2020
  • Vortex Blockchain Technologies Settles with the SEC
  • Blockchain Industry Speculates on Regulation in a Biden Administration
  • LabCFTC Announces Agenda for Empower Innovation 2020
  • Cred Inc. Files for Chapter 11 in Delaware
  • Deutsche Bank Publishes Report on CBDC
  • Reserve Bank of Australia Partners with Blockchain Company on CBDC Project
  • Lebanon’s Central Bank Progresses on Plans for CBDC
  • Russian Central Bank Issues CBDC Consultation Paper
  • Bank of Canada Is Working with G7 on Global Approach to Digital Currencies
  • The U.K. Treasury Announces Plans to Regulate Stablecoins
  • Germany Drafts Bill for Blockchain-Based Securities

Continue Reading Blockchain Week in Review: Week of November 13, 2020

Weekly Focus:

  • Kik & SEC Agree to $5M Judgment
  • CFTC Releases Advisory on Futures Commission Merchants
  • New York “Techsprint” Focuses on Virtual Currency Companies
  • Powell Considers U.S. Digital Dollar at IMF Virtual Panel
  • Ripple Considers Leaving U.S. over Lack of Regulatory Clarity
  • New Jersey “Digital Asset and Blockchain Technology Act” Moves Forward in State Legislature
  • IMF Issues New Report on CBDCs and GSCs
  • The Bahamas Rolls Out First CBDC, the “Sand Dollar”
  • Bank of Spain Releases CBDC Research Plan

Continue Reading Blockchain Week in Review: Week of October 23, 2020

Blockchain Unconference – by the WTIA Cascadia Blockchain Council

Free to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/blockchain-unconference-tickets-114448921806

October 14, 2020 9:00 am – 1:30 pm

Valerie Dahiya and Lowell Ness present “Tokenized Securities” – which can be viewed below: