Category: Regulatory and Legislative Developments

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Blockchain Week in Review – Week of August 6 – 10, 2018

U.S. Developments Regulatory Updates Ohio Enacts Cybersecurity Law with addition of Blockchain to Ohio’s Uniform Electronic Transactions Act On August 7, 2018 Ohio Governor John Kasich signed SB 220, which adds “blockchain technology” to the definition of “electronic record” and “electronic signature” under Ohio’s Uniform Electronic Transactions Act. Generally, SB 220 provides an update for … Continue Reading

SEC Denies for the Second Time a Proposal for a Bitcoin Exchange-Trade Product

On July 26, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) issued an order, by a 3-1 vote, disapproving a proposed rule change (the “Proposal”) that would have allowed for a bitcoin exchange-traded product (“ETP”) (the “Order”).  In the Order, the SEC re-asserted many of its prior concerns and reasons for denying the same proposal … Continue Reading

Dissent on the SEC’s Re-Disapproval of a Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Product

On July 26, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) issued an order disapproving a proposed rule change that would have allowed for a bitcoin exchange-traded product (“ETP”) (the “Order”).  However, the Order was not unanimous amongst the SEC’s Commissioners.  Commissioner Hester M. Peirce issued a stand-alone dissent against the Order, arguing that the … Continue Reading

Blockchain Weeks in Review: Weeks of July 16th and 23rd

U.S. Developments Regulatory Updates CFTC Issues Customer Advisory Urging Public to Use Caution When Buying Virtual Currencies On July 16, 2018, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) issued a customer advisory about virtual currencies, urging customers to use caution and perform research before purchasing digital coins or tokens, including self-described “utility coins” or “consumption … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of July 9, 2018

The following update is on our Fintech Legal Report: FINRA Issues a Regulatory Notice for Firms to Let FINRA Know About Digital Asset Activities Blockchain Week in Review: Week of July 9, 2018 U.S. Developments Regulatory Updates Vermont Enacts Blockchain Business Development Bill On May 30, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed SB 269 (thereby becoming … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week ending – June 29

U.S. Developments Regulatory Updates SEC and CFTC Announce New Cooperation Agreement On June 28, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission announced a new Memorandum of Understanding meant to allow two agencies to further coordinate in areas of common interest. Under the MOU, the two agencies agreed to identify areas of … Continue Reading

Senior SEC Officials Provide Regulatory Clarity for Digital Assets

From Uncertainty toward Regulatory Clarity: Senior SEC Officials Provide Regulatory Clarity for Digital Assets Summary is below, please click here for the full alert narrative. On June 14, 2018, the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission delivered a speech outlining the framework used by the SEC Staff in … Continue Reading

Ether is not a security: Summary of SEC Remarks Today

In a speech today during a crypto conference in San Francisco, a top Securities and Exchange Commission official expressed his view that, at this point, sales of Ether are not securities transactions. Speaking from prepared remarks, Bill Hinman, Director of the Division of Corporation Finance said: “Based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the … Continue Reading

Accounting Group Again Requests Guidance From The IRS on Virtual Currency Tax Issues

The primary professional organization for accounting professionals (AICPA) recently renewed their requests to the Internal Revenue Service for U.S. virtual currency guidance on key tax issues. The IRS has not shown any willingness to publish more advice in this area, so a response to the letter may not be forthcoming. The IRS has ignored the AICPA’s … Continue Reading

Blockchain in Review – Weeks of May 7th through May 25th, 2018

U.S. Developments Regulatory Updates CFTC Staff Issues Advisory to Exchanges and Clearinghouses on Virtual Currency Derivatives On May 21, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Market Oversight and Division of Clearing and Risk released an advisory that provides guidance to designated contract markets (DCM), swap execution facilities (SEF), and derivatives clearing organizations (DCO) … Continue Reading

FinCEN Is Watching ICOs for BSA Violations

In a recently published letter to the Senate Finance Committee, FinCEN confirmed that when an ICO token is a “convertible virtual currency,” administrators or exchangers of the token would be “money transmitters” under existing FinCEN regulations and interpretations. Under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), a money transmitter must register with FinCEN as a money services … Continue Reading

Open Session of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Hears Joint Testimony from Heads of the SEC, CFTC

On February 6, 2018, the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs conducted a hearing entitled “Virtual Currencies: The Oversight Role of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.” Hearing. The Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton, and the Chairman of the … Continue Reading

CFTC Virtual Currency Proposed Interpretation – Part 2

On December 15, 2017, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) issued a proposed interpretation of the term “actual delivery” as used in the provision of the Commodity Exchange Act (the “CEA”) that grants the CFTC explicit authority to oversee the marketplace for “retail commodity transactions.”  This is the second blog posting in a … Continue Reading

Retail Commodity Transactions Involving Virtual Currencies: An Overview of the CFTC’s Proposed Interpretation (Part 1)

On December 15, 2017, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) issued a proposed interpretation of the term “actual delivery” as used in the provision of the Commodity Exchange Act (the “CEA”) that grants the CFTC explicit authority to oversee the marketplace for “retail commodity transactions”. This is the first blog posting in a … Continue Reading

SEC Files Emergency Action to Halt Alleged ICO Scam

On Friday, December 1, 2017, the SEC filed an emergency action in federal district court in Brooklyn alleging that Dominic Lacroix and Sabrina Paradis-Roger, both from Quebec, Canada, raised approximately $15 million in a purported fraudulent unregistered Initial Coin Offering (ICO) involving PlexCoin.  In its complaint, the SEC alleged that a recidivist Quebec securities law … Continue Reading

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 … 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 … Continue Reading

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 … 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 … 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 … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review – July 14, 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 IRS Tailors Request for Coinbase … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review – June 9, 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 SEC Obtains Judgment Against Bitcoin Mining Companies … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review – May 26, 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 Vermont Law Recognizes Digital Currency … Continue Reading
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