Category: Regulatory and Legislative Developments

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SEC Requests Comment on Bitcoin Futures ETFs

On March 23, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued an order instituting proceedings to determine whether it will approve or disapprove a proposal for Bitcoin futures exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) (the “Order”). Commenters will have until April 19, 2018 to submit comments.  Those with rebuttals to the comments will have until May 3, … 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

Governor Signs Into Law Amendments to Washington’s Uniform Money Services Act

On April 18 the governor of Washington signed into law amendments proposed by the Washington Department of Financial Institutions (“DFI”) in December of last year, to the state’s Uniform Money Services Act, including provisions specific to digital currency.  The changes take effect on July 23, 2017. Aligning with Washington’s Interim Regulatory Guidance on Virtual Currency … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review – April 17, 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 Washington State Legislators Prepare Bill … Continue Reading

SEC Denies Proposed Rule Change

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that it would deny a proposed rule change that would have permitted the first exchange traded fund to track digital currency.  If granted it would have permitted the Bats BZX Exchange, Inc. (“Exchange”) to list and trade shares issued by the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust on the Exchange.  The SEC … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review – February 17, 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 California and New York Take Divergent Approaches … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review – February 10, 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 Arizona Bill Seeks to Recognize Validity of … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review – February 3, 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 The Saga of Coinbase and its IRS … Continue Reading

NYDFS Issues Revised Proposed Cybersecurity Regulation

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. … Continue Reading

Washington Department of Financial Institutions Proposes Virtual Currency Regulation

The Washington Department of Financial Institutions (“DFI”) introduced a bill last month amending portions of the Washington Uniform Money Services Act (“UMSA”). The proposal includes provisions specific to digital currencies, providing clarity to an industry struggling to muddle its way through unclear and disparate regulations across 50 states. Washington has been a leader in providing … Continue Reading
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