Category: General Developments/Background

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Blockchain Week in Review: Week ending – June 29

U.S. Developments Regulatory Updates SEC and CFTC Announce New Cooperation Agreement On June 28, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission announced a new Memorandum of Understanding meant to allow two agencies to further coordinate in areas of common interest. Under the MOU, the two agencies agreed to identify areas of … Continue Reading

Ether is not a security: Summary of SEC Remarks Today

In a speech today during a crypto conference in San Francisco, a top Securities and Exchange Commission official expressed his view that, at this point, sales of Ether are not securities transactions. Speaking from prepared remarks, Bill Hinman, Director of the Division of Corporation Finance said: “Based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the … Continue Reading

ERC-721 Tokens Shake Up Blockchain Technology

The most prevalent tokens on the Ethereum blockchain are ERC-20-compliant (ERC-20 Tokens). However, there are many other ERC, or Ethereum Request for Comment, standards available. Recently, companies like Launch Labs, Inc. d/b/a Axiom Zen (Axiom Zen) have launched new endeavors utilizing ERC-721-compliant tokens (ERC-721 Tokens). ERC-721 Tokens each have unique characteristics, unlike fungible ERC-20 Tokens. … Continue Reading

Blockchain in Review – Weeks of May 7th through May 25th, 2018

U.S. Developments Regulatory Updates CFTC Staff Issues Advisory to Exchanges and Clearinghouses on Virtual Currency Derivatives On May 21, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Market Oversight and Division of Clearing and Risk released an advisory that provides guidance to designated contract markets (DCM), swap execution facilities (SEF), and derivatives clearing organizations (DCO) … Continue Reading

Urgent Tax Reporting Considerations for Virtual Currency Traders, Miners, and Anyone Contemplating Investment

 As first published on Bloomberg’s Daily Tax Report. Key Takeaways The Internal Revenue Service is obtaining significant records about virtual currency holders These records not only implicate taxpayers who sold virtual currency at a profit, but also anyone who bought, sold, sent, or received virtual currency Exchanges of one virtual currency for another, mining of … Continue Reading

White Paper – Smart Contracts: Revisiting Use Cases and Key Legal Issues

We are pleased to release an updated edition of our smart contracts white paper, originally published in May 2017.   The updated white paper surveys the current academic and industry landscape related to smart contracts, and discusses the key legal issues surrounding smart contract applications. Authors of the white paper are Dax Hansen, Partner and Chair of the Blockchain and … Continue Reading

OFAC Warns that Venezuela’s Proposed Digital Currency May Violate U.S. Sanctions

On January 19, 2018, the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), in response to a question, warned that a U.S. person’s acquisition of, or dealing in, a cryptocurrency that Venezuela intends to issue in the future may violate OFAC sanctions.  In an effort to refinance the country’s soaring debt, the President of Venezuela, Nicolás … Continue Reading

Join us in Chicago – Understanding the Blockchain & Tokenization Revolution – February 15!

Understanding the Blockchain & Tokenization Revolution Thursday, February 15, 2018 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Registration/doors open at 5:00 p.m. There is no charge to attend. Perkins Coie, Chicago Office 131 South Dearborn Street, Suite 1700 Chicago, IL 60603 Click here to register. Join the blockchain teams from Perkins Coie, bloq, and the Chicago Blockchain Center for … 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

CBOE and CME Self-Certify Bitcoin Futures, Cantor Self-Certifies Bitcoin Binary Options and NFA Issues Investor Alert

It was a busy morning at the intersection of derivatives and virtual currencies. The world of virtual currencies is about to simultaneously become a lot more institutional and a lot more retail. Read an overview of what happened and some thoughts about what it means for the world of virtual currencies on our Derivatives & … Continue Reading

Upcoming Token Sale Presentations featuring Perkins Coie LLP!

Upcoming Token Sale Presentations featuring Perkins Coie LLP! Webinars: The Token Sale Summit Webinar September 16 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (PST) Dax Hansen – is one of the featured speakers Free to attend: To register and more information, click here. ICOs: Regulatory Analysis by Jurisdictions Worldwide September 27, 2017 Sarah Hody – is one … 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 and Digital Token Update: SEC Releases Investigative Report and Investor Bulletin

On July 25, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released groundbreaking materials relating to blockchain tokens. These materials provide significant and welcome insight to the SEC’s and its staff’s thinking in this area, although they leave a number of important questions unanswered. The SEC released a detailed investigative report under Section 21(a) of the … Continue Reading

SEC and U.S. Attorney’s Office Bring Action Against Promoter of Bitcoin Store, Inc.

On June 30, 2017, the SEC and the U.S. Attorney brought parallel civil and criminal fraud charges against Renwick Haddow, the owner of an unregistered broker-dealer entity named In Crowd Equity Inc., and two corporate entities named Bitcoin Store, Inc. and Bar Works, Inc. (SEC Litigation Release, US Attorney Press Release) In addition to filing the … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review – June 16, 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 Illinois Regulators Determine that Digital … 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

Guilt by Association: Bitcoin and the WannaCry Ransomware Attack

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 … Continue Reading

Two New White Papers Exploring Use Cases and Legal Issues of Distributed Ledger Technology-Based Smart Contracts and Self-Sovereign Identity Systems

We are pleased to release two in-depth white papers discussing cutting-edge legal and technology issues applicable to smart contracts and self-sovereign identity systems. In the smart contracts white paper, Dax Hansen, Partner and Chair of the Blockchain and Digital Currency Industry Group, and Carla Reyes, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at the Stetson University College of … Continue Reading

Washington — B&O Taxation of Unredeemed Gift Cards

The Washington State Department of Revenue has just issued a draft Excise Tax Advisory (“ETA”) (will be hyperlinked to the attached document) in which it concludes that unredeemed gift card receipts (e.g., breakage) which are taken into income should be reported as subject to service B&O tax.  (As a reminder, in 2004, the Washington legislature … Continue Reading

New White Paper Published: Treatment of Bitcoin Under U.S. Property Law

In this recently published Perkins Coie white paper, the authors analyze the treatment of bitcoin under applicable U.S. property law.  The authors conclude that property interests should exist in bitcoin under such law, and that multiple sources of persuasive authority provide additional support for that conclusion. The paper is divided into 5 parts: Treatment of … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week In Review – January 6, 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 FDIC Seeks Comments on Proposed Handbook for … Continue Reading

Blockchain Syndicated Loans as Uncertificated Securities

Blockchain Loans as Uncertificated Securities In a previous post, I examined the risk that efforts to employ distributed ledger technology to trade syndicated loans could result in their reclassification as “securities” for purposes of federal securities laws. I will now explain why such a system may need to treat blockchain syndicated loans as “securities” for … Continue Reading
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