Litigation and Decisions

On June 27, 2018, the Chinese Hangzhou Internet Court announced its decision on a case regarding the infringement of the right of communication through an information network. In a first for Chinese courts, the court accepted electronic data that was stored using blockchain technology as legal evidence. The court also clarified the examination standards for such electronic data.

Continue Reading Chinese Court Recognizes Blockchain-Verified Evidence for the First Time

Federal District Court Upholds Securities Indictment for ICOs but Defers Final Howey Determination in United States v. Zaslavskiy

This week, liberal pleading standards were applied to uphold the indictment in United States v. Zaslavskiy, the first criminal case examining whether ICOs are securities under U.S. law.
Continue Reading U.S. v. Zaslavskiy: Federal District Court Upholds Indictment for ICOs and Defers Final Howey Determination for Trial

On August 7, Judge Richard Seeborg of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California denied in part a motion to dismiss (the “Order”) sought by the defendants in In Re Tezos Securities Litigation (the “Tezos Case”). Among other important insights, the Order’s reasoning illustrates the potentially broad reach of the U.S. federal securities laws to blockchain token sellers outside the United States.
Continue Reading Key Takeaways From the Tezos Litigation

U.S. Developments

Regulatory Updates

Ohio Enacts Cybersecurity Law with addition of Blockchain to Ohio’s Uniform Electronic Transactions Act
Continue Reading Blockchain Week in Review – Week of August 6 – 10, 2018

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

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

This week, at the tail-end of the legislative session, California legislators have introduced a bill (amended from a bill originally introduced in April 2015) that statutorily addresses the increasingly topical question of how to regulate the emerging crypto-currency market.

The amendment, introduced on August 8, 2016, is a vast departure from the earlier iterations of

Despite much hype over the ruling by a Florida court that bitcoin is not money, the likeliest outcome of Monday’s decision will be legislative amendments to Florida’s money transmitter laws, rather than the sweeping impact envisioned by some.

Florida state Judge Teresa Pooler dismissed charges on Monday against a man accused of  money laundering and

On June 2nd, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) announced an enforcement order and settlement with BFXNA Inc. d/b/a Bitfinex, an online platform for exchanging and trading cryptocurrencies (the “Platform”).  This posting will summarize that order with the goal of helping our readers make sense of the current state of the law with respect to the CFTC’s regulation of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

KEY REGULATORY PRINCIPLES

Before turning to the facts of this particular enforcement order and settlement (the “Order”), it is helpful to review the current state of the law with respect to the the CFTC’s regulation of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.  The following are the key regulatory principles, as excerpted from the Order (detailed citations have been omitted in the interest of readability).
Continue Reading Making Sense of the CFTC’s Enforcement Order and Settlement with Bitfinex