Category: Industry Developments

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Senior SEC Officials Provide Regulatory Clarity for Digital Assets

From Uncertainty toward Regulatory Clarity: Senior SEC Officials Provide Regulatory Clarity for Digital Assets Summary is below, please click here for the full alert narrative. On June 14, 2018, the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission delivered a speech outlining the framework used by the SEC Staff in … 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

SEC Takes Aim at Initial Coin Offerings Again

The SEC is targeting ICOs once again, but it is now adding more focus through its new Enforcement Division Cyber Unit. In its enforcement settlement with Munchee, Inc., the SEC looked past the utility of a “utility token” in its “securities” analysis and instead focused on aspects such as marketing and the existence of a … 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

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 Week in Review – July 14, 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 IRS Tailors Request for Coinbase … 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

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

Governor Signs Into Law Amendments to Washington’s Uniform Money Services Act

On April 18 the governor of Washington signed into law amendments proposed by the Washington Department of Financial Institutions (“DFI”) in December of last year, to the state’s Uniform Money Services Act, including provisions specific to digital currency.  The changes take effect on July 23, 2017. Aligning with Washington’s Interim Regulatory Guidance on Virtual Currency … 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

Dana Syracuse Speaks at The DC Blockchain Summit 2017

Through our longstanding relationship with The Chamber of Digital Commerce, Dana Syracuse presented a blockchain legal and regulatory update at the DC Blockchain Summit held in Washington DC,  March 15-16, 2017. Please find a video of Dana’s presentation here and a copy of the presentation slides here. The Chamber of Digital Commerce, along with Georgetown University’s Center for Financial … Continue Reading

As Fintech Platforms Grow Up, Investment Management Firms Face the ‘Problems of Tomorrow’

Read our new article in The Investment Lawyer to learn more about the legal and regulatory implications of emerging technologies, including blockchain and digital ledger technology, investing in fintech companies, robo-advisers and algorithms, and cybersecurity.… Continue Reading

SEC Denies Proposed Rule Change

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that it would deny a proposed rule change that would have permitted the first exchange traded fund to track digital currency.  If granted it would have permitted the Bats BZX Exchange, Inc. (“Exchange”) to list and trade shares issued by the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust on the Exchange.  The SEC … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review – February 17, 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 California and New York Take Divergent Approaches … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review – February 3, 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 The Saga of Coinbase and its IRS … Continue Reading

NYDFS Issues Revised Proposed Cybersecurity Regulation

On December 28, 2016, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) issued a revised proposed cybersecurity regulation, Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies.  The revised proposed regulation reflects several substantive changes made in response to over 150 public comments received by NYDFS in response to the original proposed regulation published this past September. … Continue Reading
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