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The staff (“Staff”) of the Division of Trading and Markets of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a no-action letter (NAL) at the request of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on September 25, 2020, which built upon a joint statement (“Joint Statement”) issued by the staffs of the SEC and FINRA in 2019 (please see our prior client update for additional discussion of this 2019 guidance). As part of its guidance, the Joint Statement provided an example of a noncustodial business model for broker-dealers that involved the operation of an alternative trading system (ATS). Upon a request by FINRA on behalf of its broker-dealer members, the NAL provides modified relief for ATSs that meet certain conditions, enabling them to settle digital asset security trades under a slightly modified structure designed to reduce operational and settlement risks.
Continue Reading SEC Staff Provides Relief on the Role of ATSs in the Settlement of Digital Asset Security Trades

Perkins Coie LLP is pleased to bring you this updated Digital Asset SEC Timeline.

The Digital Asset SEC Timeline serves as an interactive compilation of select SEC guidance, enforcement actions, and speeches relating to the application of the federal securities laws to digital assets. Beginning with the release of the DAO Investigative Report in July

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 September 2020, 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

The timeline has since been updated.  To find the most recent version, updated 9.2020, 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 laws

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

The following was posted on the Perkins Coie’s Asset Management ADVocate, to read the full post, please click here.

EtherDelta Founder Sanctioned for Operating an Unregistered Securities Exchange

In this post we discuss how on November 8, the SEC

The French data protection authority, Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), became the first European data protection authority to issue written guidance on the intersection of the use of blockchain technology and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The CNIL guidance provides welcome clarification on how to tackle some of the inherent tensions between GDPR and blockchain, although the CNIL left open certain important issues that will require deeper analysis and explanation in the future.
Continue Reading French Data Protection Authority Issues Guidance on Application of Blockchain to the GDPR

The following summaries are available in our sister blog, The Fintech Report.

OCC Begins Accepting National Bank Charter Applications from Financial Technology Companies

New York Department of Financial Services Voices Opposition to Regulatory “Sandboxes” and OCC Charters for Fintech Companies
Continue Reading Blockchain in Review – Week of July 30 – August 3, 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