Category: Industry Developments

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FinCEN Advisory Emphasizes Importance of U.S.-Iran Sanctions and AML/CFT Compliance for Virtual Currency Businesses

On October 11, 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released an advisory (the Advisory) intended to help money services businesses (MSBs) and foreign financial institutions better understand how U.S. sanctions on Iran affect their compliance obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) rules and under the … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review – Week of October 8-12, 2018

U.S. Developments Regulatory Updates FinCEN Issues Advisory on Illicit Iranian Activities On October 11, 2018, the U.S. Treasury Department Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued an advisory to help money services businesses  and foreign financial institutions better understand the U.S. Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (“AML/CFT”) risks related to Iranian activity.  The report encourages … Continue Reading

SEC and FINRA Target Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund Manager and Broker-Dealers in New Wave of Digital Asset Enforcement Proceedings

The SEC and FINRA recently announced a series of enforcement actions against new types of actors in the digital asset space—private fund managers and broker-dealers.… Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review – Week of September 24-28

The following summary is available in our sister blog, The Fintech Report. Roundup of CFTC Resources Blockchain Week in Review: Week of September 24-28, 2018 U.S. Developments Cryptocurrency and the Colorado Money Transmitter License Act On September 20, 2018, following months of consultation with the Colorado Attorney General’s office, Colorado’s Division of Banking released interim … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of September 17-21, 2018

U.S. Developments Hester Peirce Remarks at Cato Institute Conference Hester Peirce made remarks at the Cato Institute’s Fintech Unbound conference on September 12, 2018. Commissioner Peirce commented that securities regulators are too risk averse, stating that “capital markets are all about taking risk, and queasiness around risk-taking is particularly inapt” and that “a key purpose … Continue Reading

Cryptocurrency Derivatives, Funds and Advisers: Key Considerations Under U.S. Commodity Laws (Part 2: The Regulation of Commodities – Quite Substantial, Even If Not Substantive)

This post originally appeared in The Derivatives and Repo Report, and can be accessed here.: This post is the second in a series that outlines key considerations for investment funds and their advisers regarding the application of the U.S. commodity laws to cryptocurrency derivatives.  In Part 1, we focused on the status of cryptocurrencies as … Continue Reading

Cryptocurrency Derivatives, Funds and Advisers: Key Considerations Under U.S. Commodity Laws (Part 1 – Cryptos Are Commodities (Except When They Are Not))

This post originally appeared in The Derivatives and Repo Report, and can be accessed here.: In this multi-part posting, we outline key considerations for investment funds and their advisers regarding the application of the U.S commodity laws to cryptocurrency derivatives.   Part 1 focuses on the status of cryptocurrencies as commodities and how that status relates … Continue Reading

Why Is Blockchain Custody So Hard–Part 3

“Why Blockchain Custody Is So Difficult—Paths Forward?” was recently posted on Perkins Coie’s Asset Management ADVocate blog. The blog post completes the analysis of the difficult question of how to comply with regulations requiring independent custody of cryptocurrency. This series focuses on the custody requirements for registered investment companies in an attempt to respond to … Continue Reading

Virtual Currency: Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Update

On July 18, 2018, the Financial Action Task Force[1] (“FATF”), published its report to the July 2018 G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting.[2] The report sets out FATF’s ongoing work to fight money laundering and terrorist financing, and in particular FATF’s work programme on virtual currencies, including the money laundering and terrorist financing … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of July 9, 2018

The following update is on our Fintech Legal Report: FINRA Issues a Regulatory Notice for Firms to Let FINRA Know About Digital Asset Activities Blockchain Week in Review: Week of July 9, 2018 U.S. Developments Regulatory Updates Vermont Enacts Blockchain Business Development Bill On May 30, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed SB 269 (thereby becoming … Continue Reading

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
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