Privacy-enabling cryptocurrencies, commonly known as privacy coins, are enhanced versions of early cryptocurrencies that were developed to protect the financial privacy of individuals and businesses alike. Each privacy coin leverages innovative mechanisms that provide privacy, encryption, and security to its users. Alongside their positive effects, however, these mechanisms have raised an important compliance question:

On March 10, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued guidance and a request for assurance to financial institutions engaged in virtual currency business activity in New York. The request requires regulated virtual currency businesses to prepare and submit a plan of preparedness to manage the risk of disruption to services and operations caused by the novel coronavirus known as “COVID-19”.
Continue Reading Client Alert: COVID-19 Preparedness Plan Requirements For NY Virtual Currency Businesses

Through our longstanding relationship with The Chamber of Digital Commerce, Dana Syracuse presented a blockchain legal and regulatory update at the DC Blockchain Summit held in Washington DC,  March 15-16, 2017. Please find a video of Dana’s presentation here and a copy of the presentation slides here.

The Chamber of Digital Commerce, along with

On December 28, 2016, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) issued a revised proposed cybersecurity regulation, Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies.  The revised proposed regulation reflects several substantive changes made in response to over 150 public comments received by NYDFS in response to the original proposed regulation published this past September.  These regulations represent the culmination of NYDFS’s multiyear inquiry into the efforts of banking institutions and insurance companies to prevent cybercrime, which included an extensive assessment and review of NYDFS-regulated banks, NYDFS-regulated insurance companies, and third-party vendors.  NYDFS is accepting further comments to the proposed regulation through January 27, 2017.

Much like the version proposed in September, the revised regulation is designed to set certain minimum cybersecurity standards and processes to be followed by regulated institutions.  We have summarized below the key obligations that the regulations would impose, along with their effective dates, if they are implemented in their current form.

Continue Reading NYDFS Issues Revised Proposed Cybersecurity Regulation

On December 2, 2016, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) announced its intention to move forward with considering applications from financial technology (“FinTech”) companies to become special purpose national banks. In his prepared remarks at the Georgetown University Law Center announcing the release of a new white paper entitled, “Exploring Special Purpose National Charters for FinTech Companies” and the opening of a 45-day comment period, Comptroller Curry signaled an openness to the FinTech industry and said, “It is clear that FinTech companies hold great potential to expand financial inclusion, empower consumers, and help families and businesses take more control of their financial matters.” Companies seeking such a charter will be evaluated by the OCC to ensure that they have a reasonable chance of success, appropriate risk management, effective consumer protection, and strong capital and liquidity. The OCC’s newly released white paper details the issues and conditions that it will consider in evaluating any entity seeking a special purpose national bank charter. As the OCC evaluates the process to be put in place for granting such charters, it seeks feedback on all elements of the white paper and 13 additional questions concerning the public policy benefit of such a charter, elements to be considered in evaluating capital and liquidity, financial inclusion, consumer protection, safety and soundness, and overall approach to regulating FinTech companies. All comments must be submitted by January 15, 2017.
Continue Reading OCC Moves Forward With Plans to Develop Bank Charters for Fintech Firms