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
North Carolina. On May 13, the North Carolina House of Representatives passed HB289, a bill proposing to revamp the North Carolina Money Transmission Act. Among other significant changes, the bill specifically addresses the regulatory treatment of virtual currency. The bill would regulate the sale of virtual currency and the receipt of virtual currency for transmission to others, and “maintaining control of virtual currency on behalf of others.” The bill would, however, offer an exemption, subject to application and approval for reliance on the exemption, to those acting as an agent of the payee, including for transactions involving virtual currency. The bill currently remains under consideration by the North Carolina Senate Committee on Commerce.
Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., which owns and operates the Nasdaq stock exchange is exploring how blockchain technology can change the way shares are transferred and sold manually. The company will test the technology in Nasdaq Private Market, which connects private companies and global investors.
Euro Banking Association (EBA). According to the most recent report from the EBA, blockchain technology has the potential to reduce costs, improve product offerings and increase speed for banks. The report follows on from a European Central Bank publication which described digital currencies as potentially transformative in the realm of payments. Swiss investment bank UBS recently opened a blockchain technology research lab in London to see how it could be applied in the wider FinTech community.