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On April 28, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed a complaint against a company and its chief executive officer (“CEO”) for alleged fraud in connection with the company’s stated response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In its complaint, the SEC alleged that the company issued two press releases containing false or misleading statements in which the company purported to be negotiating the sale of N95 masks and then made claims that it was in possession of N95 masks. After regulators inquired about these claims, the SEC alleged that the company issued a third press release a month later that it did not have any N95 masks on hand. The complaint asserts that the company’s stock trading volume and stock price increased significantly as a result of the initial press releases.
Continue Reading SEC Alleges COVID-19 Related Fraud by a Company after Suspending Trading

Please note that the Digital Asset SEC Timeline has since been updated.  To find the most recent version, updated April 2021, please click here.

Perkins Coie LLP is pleased to bring you this updated Digital Asset SEC Timeline. This update includes the newest edition posted on March 24, 2020 which highlights the Second

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the financial markets have experienced significant volatility. During the course of this volatility, exchanges have halted trading multiple times after declines in trading trigged circuit breakers. In addition, trading floors are transitioning to electronic trading in efforts to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 on physical trading floors. With the recent turmoil, this post provides a high-level summary of the various types of circuit breakers and what can be expected.
Continue Reading Understanding Circuit Breakers, Our New Reality, in the Time of COVID-19

On March 9, 2020, FINRA released Regulatory Notice 20-08 (the “Regulatory Notice”) providing guidance and limited relief to its member broker-dealers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the Regulatory Notice requests that broker-dealers evaluate their compliance with FINRA Rule 4370, which requires broker-dealers to create, maintain, and update upon any material change, BCPs (Business Continuity Plans) identifying procedures relating to emergency or significant business disruption.
Continue Reading FINRA Issues Notice Regarding Business Continuity Planning During COVID-19 Outbreak

The timeline has since been updated.  To find the most recent version, updated April 2021, please click here.

Perkins Coie LLP is pleased to bring you this Digital Asset SEC Timeline. This Timeline is an interactive compilation of select SEC guidance, enforcement actions, and speeches relating to the application of the federal securities

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub) published a framework on April 3, 2019, for analyzing whether a digital asset is offered and sold as a security under the federal securities laws.

The framework includes “common sense guidance” that provides greater detail and clarity regarding the application

On Wednesday, December 12, 2018, the D.C. Bar hosted a panel to discuss current developments in the world of crypto.  Among the panelists were two senior SEC officers: Jonathan Ingram, Deputy Chief Counsel, Division of Corporation Finance, and Jennifer Leete, Assistant Director, Division of Enforcement.  Also participating on the panel was Era Anagnosti, a former senior manager in the Division of Corporation Finance of the SEC who in part oversaw the process relating to, among other things, various crypto-related registration filings.  The following is a summary of certain topics discussed at the panel regarding both corporate finance and enforcement as well as some key takeaways.

Continue Reading Takeaways on the Regulation of Crypto Assets from Late 2018 Comments of Several SEC Officials

Through their recent actions and statements, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has further clarified their position with respect to digital assets and ICOs. Following on from earlier enforcement efforts throughout 2017 and 2018, the SEC Enforcement Division settled cases with AirFox and Paragon, two issuers of unregistered securities in tokenized form, in addition to

On October 18, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), announced the launch of the agency’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub).[1]  FinHub is a resource for industry engagement between financial technology companies (fintechs), market participants, the public, and the SEC.  This client update provides a high-level overview of the FinHub initiative and how the SEC envisions industry participation.

FinHub is designed to serve as a focal point for the SEC to engage with fintech companies.  Led by Valerie A. Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation and Associate Director in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, FinHub provides a portal where the public can engage directly with SEC staff, request a meeting, and receive updates and information about upcoming initiatives.  The SEC’s expectation is that FinHub will provide a clear path for entrepreneurs, developers, and their advisers to engage SEC staff, seek input, and test ideas.  The FinHub portal covers various fintech topics, such as distributed ledger technology (including digital assets), automated investment advice, digital marketplace financing, and artificial intelligence/machine learning.  FinHub also offers a detailed request form, accessible here, that allows submission of background information and supporting documents for a meeting request or request for other assistance.

Continue Reading SEC Launches FinHub for Engaging with Fintech and Blockchain Companies