Category: Fintech

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Blockchain Week in Review: Week of August 9, 2019

U.S. Regulatory Kik Files Answer to SEC Complaint On August 7, Canadian messaging company Kik Interactive Inc. (“Kik”) filed its answer to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) complaint filed in the Southern District of New York.  In its 131-page answer, Kik argues for a narrow reading of the Howey test and maintains that … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of August 2, 2019

U.S. Developments Regulatory Developments Commissioner Hester Peirce Speaks Before the SUSS Convergence Forum: Inclusive Blockchain Finance, and Emerging Technologies On August 1, 2019, Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Commissioner Hester Peirce gave a speech before the Singapore University of Social Sciences Convergence Forum: Inclusive Blockchain, Finance, and Emerging Technologies. In her remarks, she discussed the … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of July 26, 2019

U.S. Developments Regulatory Developments SEC Issues Second No Action Letter for Blockchain-Based Project On July 25, 2019, the staff of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its second ever no-action letter to a company planning to issue blockchain-based tokens. The letter was issued to Pocketful of Quarters (PoQ), a gaming start-up. PoQ seeks to … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of July 19, 2019

U.S. Developments Legislative Updates Facebook’s David Marcus Testifies Before Congress on Libra David Marcus, the Facebook blockchain chief in charge of its planned Libra cryptocurrency and Calibra-branded digital wallet, testified for two days before Congress last week to answer questions about the social media giant’s plans for a cryptocurrency. U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, Chairman of … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of July 12, 2019

U.S. Developments Regulatory Developments SEC and FINRA Issue Joint Statement on Digital Asset Custody Issues On July 8, 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) (collectively, “the Staffs”) issued a joint statement addressing questions each has received from market participants regarding proper custody of digital assets under … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of June 28, 2019

U.S. Developments Regulatory Developments CFTC Announces Two Events Designed to Encourage FinTech Innovation On June 27, 2019, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced two events designed to encourage fintech innovation. First, the agency announced the launch of LabCFTC Accelerator. According to the press release, “LabCFTC Accelerator is a component of the broader CFTC’s LabCFTC … Continue Reading

Can Blockchain Survive the California Consumer Privacy Act?

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 & … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of June 21, 2019

U.S. Developments Facebook Announces Formation of Calibra and Launch of Libra On June 18, 2019, Facebook announced the launch of Libra, a new cryptocurrency designed to have a stable value and be widely accepted internationally, and the formation of a new subsidiary, Calibra, which will provide digital wallets and other services for users in the … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of June 14, 2019

U.S. Developments Regulatory Developments SEC Chair’s Recent Comments on Digital Assets Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chairman Jay Clayton touched on digital asset issues during two recent appearances. On June 4, Chairman Clayton addressed the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, where he noted the work of SEC staff to trace transactions across blockchains. Specifically, he mentioned that … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of May 31, 2019

U.S. Developments U.S. Federal Regulatory Developments SEC Staff Holds FinTech Forum to Discuss Blockchain Technology and Digital Assets On May 31, 2019, the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) held a FinTech Forum to discuss distributed ledger technology and digital assets.  It was hosted by the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of May 24, 2019

U.S. Developments Regulatory Updates SEC Files Enforcement Action Against Alleged Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Pyramid Scheme On May 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Daniel Pacheco, owner of two California-based companies known as IPro Solutions LLC and IPro Network LLC (collectively, … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of May 6–10, 2019

U.S. Developments Regulatory Updates CFTC Publishes Enforcement Manual On May 8, 2019, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) Division of Enforcement (“DOE”) published its first public Enforcement Manual (the “Manual”). The Manual establishes general policies and procedures for the DOE’s work in investigating and prosecuting violations of the Commodity Exchange Act. Director of Enforcement … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of April 29 – May 3, 2019

U.S. Developments Regulatory Updates SEC Suspends Trading for Crypto Exchange and Mining Company On April 29, 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that it was suspending trading for Bitcoin Generation (“BTGN”), a cryptocurrency exchange and mining company, until 11:59 p.m. ET on May 10, 2019, due to concerns about the accuracy and … Continue Reading

OFAC Issues Sanctions Compliance Program Guidance

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers and enforces U.S. economic sanctions programs in accordance with U.S. national security and foreign policy. OFAC had not previously published guidance addressing essential elements for an effective sanctions compliance program (SCP). It has now done so. Specifically, on May 2, 2019, OFAC published guidance entitled “A Framework … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of April 8-12, 2019

U.S. Developments Blockstack Files With SEC for Regulation A+ Token Sale Blockstack, the New York-based blockchain software provider, has announced that it intends to make a $50 million token offering that would use the SEC’s Regulation A+ exemption. The sale would enable Blockstack to raise capital through the U.S. securities markets via a subsidiary, Blockstack … Continue Reading

SEC’s FinHub Publishes Framework for Digital Assets and SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance Grants First No-Action Relief to Token Sponsor

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub) published a framework on April 3, 2019, for analyzing whether a digital asset is offered and sold as a security under the federal securities laws. The framework includes “common sense guidance” that provides greater detail and clarity regarding the application … Continue Reading

Dying and Private Keys

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[1] indicating it may have lost access to nearly $200 million USD of its customers’ Bitcoin, Ether … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of February 11-15, 2019

U.S. Developments Regulatory Updates SEC Commissioner Peirce Says Guidance on Crypto Token Sales Is Coming In a speech at the University of Missouri School of Law, Hester Peirce, one of the SEC’s commissioners, said that the agency is working on “supplemental guidance” to help projects determine when securities laws might apply to crypto token sales. … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of February 4-8, 2019

U.S. Developments Florida Court of Appeals Rules That Direct Sales of Bitcoin Constituted Money Transmission and the Sale of Payment Instruments Reversing the order issued by the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, the Florida Court of Appeals issued an opinion on January 30 in the case of Florida v. Espinoza in which the appellate court ruled … Continue Reading

Fintech Regulatory Sandboxes: Update on Arizona’s Sandbox and Other Developments

Arizona’s financial technology (“fintech”) sandbox (“Sandbox”), the first of its kind in the United States, has been open for several months and has accepted three participants.  A month after the program’s launch, Arizona’s Attorney General announced his approval of the first participant, payment platform Omni Mobile, Inc.[1]  Two other companies providing consumer lending services, Sweetbridge … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of January 14-18, 2019

U.S. Developments  Flood of State Virtual Currency Legislation Since the start of the new year there have been roughly nine virtual currency bills introduced or passed in four different states. Overall, the bills demonstrate a growing interest among the states in supporting virtual currency businesses through the codification of blockchain terminology for legal effect or … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of January 7-11, 2019

U.S. Developments Regulatory Updates Texas Clarifies that Stablecoins Backed by Sovereign Currency Qualify as “Money” Under Money Transmission Statute The Texas Department of Banking recently issued a Supervisory Memorandum clarifying how its money transmission statute applies to stablecoins backed by sovereign currency. The Department reiterated—consistent with its 2014 guidance—that Texas’s money transmission statute only regulates … Continue Reading

Takeaways on the Regulation of Crypto Assets from Late 2018 Comments of Several SEC Officials

On Wednesday, December 12, 2018, the D.C. Bar hosted a panel to discuss current developments in the world of crypto.  Among the panelists were two senior SEC officers: Jonathan Ingram, Deputy Chief Counsel, Division of Corporation Finance, and Jennifer Leete, Assistant Director, Division of Enforcement.  Also participating on the panel was Era Anagnosti, a former … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of December 21-27, 2018

U.S. Developments Congressmen Introduce Legislation to Define “Digital Token” Under the Securities Laws On December 20, 2018, two congressmen introduced the “Token Taxonomy Act” (H.R. 7356) before the 115th Congress in an effort to define “digital token” under the federal securities laws.  H.R. 7356 was introduced by Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) and Rep. Darren Soto … Continue Reading
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