Category: Weekly Updates

Subscribe to Weekly Updates RSS Feed

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of November 8, 2019

U.S. Developments Litigation New York Resident Indicted for Duping Investors with Fake ICO Scam On November 6, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced a wire fraud charge against Asa Saint Clair, the operator of World Sports Alliance, which held itself out on its website as using sports to promote … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of October 25, 2019

U.S. Developments Mark Zuckerberg Testifies Before U.S. House of Representatives Regarding Libra On October 23, Facebook, Inc. CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, testified before the House Committee on Financial Services regarding Facebook’s efforts to launch Libra, a blockchain-based payments system.  Mr. Zuckerberg’s testimony described Libra as a tool for financial inclusion, which would also comply with relevant … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of October 11, 2019

U.S. Developments U.S. Federal Regulatory Developments CFTC, FinCEN, and SEC Leaders Release a Join Statement on Digital Assets On October 11, 2019, the heads of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued a joint statement reminding those involved with digital assets about their obligations … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of September 27, 2019

U.S. Developments REGULATORY House Passes Bill to Review How Blockchain Technology Can Improve FinCEN The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill sponsored by Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) that requires the Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) to carry out a study on the status of implementation and internal use of blockchain and other … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of September 20, 2019

U.S. Developments Regulatory VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF Proposal Withdrawn. Facing an October 18 deadline for the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to approve or disapprove, Cboe BZX Exchange withdrew the proposed rule change to list and trade SolidX Bitcoin Shares issued by VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust on September 13, 2019. The decision had already been delayed … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of September 6, 2019

U.S. Developments VanEck and SolidX to Offer Bitcoin ETF to Qualified Institutional Buyers On September 3, 2019, VanEck Securities Corp. and SolidX Management LLC announced that they are seeking to use Rule 144A of the Securities Act to issue shares in the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust to qualified institutional buyers. According to a joint statement … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of August 30, 2019

U.S. Developments Enforcement and Litigation Developments Craig Wright Faces Sanctions Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed inventor of Bitcoin, has been tied up in litigation since February 2018 related to his partnership with the late David Kleiman.  The case alleged that Wright worked to seize bitcoin owned by Kleiman after his death.  On August 27, 2019, in … Continue Reading

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of August 19-23, 2019

U.S. Developments Veritaseum Founder Provides Response to Asset Freeze Order Responding to an emergency application filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued an order on August 12, 2019, freezing Veritaseum accounts and digital assets and ordering founder … Continue Reading

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

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 June 7, 2019

U.S. Developments SEC Sues Social Media Company Kik over Digital Coin Offering The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) sued Kik Interactive Inc. (“Kik”) in federal court in Manhattan this week, arguing that Kik’s sale of “Kin tokens” in late 2017 was a sale of unregistered securities. The complaint alleges that Kik marketed its tokens as … 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 13–17, 2019

U.S. Developments Regulatory Updates SEC Continues to Delay Decision on Bitwise ETF On May 14, 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) continued its delay on a decision regarding a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) application. A decision regarding the ETF application, filed by Bitwise Asset Management and the NYSE Arca exchange earlier this year, … 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 22-26, 2019

U.S. Developments New York Attorney General Announces Filing in Connection with Tether, Bitfinex Investigation On April 25, 2019, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that her office obtained a court order enjoining iFinex Inc., operator of the Bitfinex trading platform, and Tether Limited, issuer of “tether” virtual currency, from further violations of New York … Continue Reading
LexBlog