Financial technology firms and certain banks and bank holding companies can expect to face increased scrutiny as the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System takes another step to stem risks related to crypto-assets, use of blockchain technology, and complex fintech partnerships with nonbanks to deliver financial services to customers. Through its newly announced Novel Activities Supervision Program (“NAS Program”), the Federal Reserve will be taking a harder look at its supervised banking organizations, even those with less than $10 billion in assets, “to ensure that the risks associated with innovation are appropriately addressed” in four key areas:Continue Reading The Federal Reserve’s Novel Activities Supervision Program: What Banks and Nonbanks Need to Know
Voyager filed its Disclosure Statement and First Amended Plan (Plan) on Friday, August 12. A primary purpose of a Chapter 11 plan is to define how creditors’ and customers’ claims are proposed to be treated. For a business such as Voyager’s, the plan would be expected to include how customers’ claims will be treated. A disclosure statement typically describes the plan, the debtors’ history, events leading to bankruptcy, and for debtors that intend to operate after bankruptcy, includes projections of its future under the plan (along with a liquidation analysis to compare the plan with a liquidation of the debtors).
Calling Voyager’s Plan a shell is an overstatement to anyone who has ever searched for crustaceans by the seashore. It does not indicate what customers or creditors will receive. It does not indicate what Voyager’s future will or may hold, since the bidding process is still underway and there is no way to know whether there will be one or more “white knights” or if Voyager will seek to keep existing management in charge.Continue Reading Voyager Holdings—Disclosure Statement and Plan Leave Customers and Creditors Asking “Who’s on First?”
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
The California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) is a sweeping new law that introduces a host of privacy rights for California consumers, as well as creates a series of robust obligations for certain businesses that collect personal information about those consumers.
Join us for CCPA Week: A series of webinars hosted by Perkins Coie’s Privacy…
Cryptocurrency owners must face death—be it their own, or that of anyone else with custody of the owner’s cryptocurrency or other digital assets. We received a stark reminder of this when the Canadian exchange QuadrigaCX recently filed court papers indicating it may have lost access to nearly $200 million USD of its customers’ Bitcoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies. The exchange claimed to have used cold wallets to store its portion of customers’ vital cryptocurrency offline. After the owner of the exchange died, however, the exchange has apparently struggled to access this cryptocurrency and related fiat deposits, and customers may forever lose their assets housed on the exchange.
Continue Reading Dying and Private Keys
The Ethereum Classic blockchain was the victim of a 51% attack (often called a majority or Sybil attack) last month that reorganized portions of the blockchain and allowed the attackers to double-spend 219,500 ETC ($1.1 million). As a result of this attack, and similar majority attacks over the past year, the concept of immutability within…
Kik Publicizes Response to Possible SEC Enforcement
On January 27, the Wall Street Journal published an article describing the impending legal battle over cryptocurrency Kin and its 2017 ICO. That same day, Ted Livingston, the founder and CEO of Canadian company Kik Interactive (Kik) and the developer behind Kin, published the Wells Notice he received from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 16, 2018, as well as Kik’s response.
Continue Reading Blockchain Week in Review: Week of January 28 – February 1, 2019
While cryptocurrencies and digital tokens — also known as “digital assets” — have disrupted traditional notions of commerce, capital and investing, there is another asset which any company engaged in this space will need: insurance. Given the rapidly-evolving nature of this new technology and the uncertainties surrounding applicable laws and regulations, it can be challenging to figure out the types of insurance products that should be considered. Any company engaged in this space should ask itself the following questions to help determine which lines of insurance it should consider.
Continue Reading Cryptocurrencies: Matching insurance to risks and exposures
On September 21st, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the filing of charges against Nicholas Gelfman and Gelfman Blueprint, Inc. (the “Defendants”) for fraud, misappropriation, and issuing false account statements in connection with solicited investments in Bitcoin. According to the allegations asserted by the CFTC, the Defendants operated a Ponzi scheme, misappropriated funds from…
The recent so-called “WannaCry” ransomware cyber-extortion attack has thrust bitcoin as a means of payment back into the debate surrounding illegal online activity. Much in the way that the internet, in its early days, was seen as a tool useful only for crime, pornography, and other socially unacceptable activities, so too are bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies seen by some as only useful for bad actors. This of course ignores the substantial investment in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by legitimate and well-known businesses, financial institutions, and even governments all around the world. Still, in some corners the stereotype persists. But much in the way that the internet continued to grow and evolve, so too will the bitcoin and cryptocurrency ecosystem grow and evolve, and its use by bad actors will continue to diminish.
Continue Reading Guilt by Association: Bitcoin and the WannaCry Ransomware Attack