U.S. Developments

Regulation

Upcoming Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (“ETF”) Decisions

On January 4, 2018, NYSE Arca filed a proposed rule change to list 9 Bitcoin ETFs. Subsequently, the time for the Security Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to approve or disapprove was pushed back in March, April, July, and September. On August 22, 2018, the SEC disapproved the listings and the rule change. The following day, the SEC notified NYSE that it would be reviewing the ETFs pursuant to Rule 431 and staying the August 22 order. The ETF applications came from ProShares, Direxion, and GraniteShares.


Continue Reading

The following summary is available in our sister blog, The Fintech Report.

State Bank Regulators and NYDFS to renew litigation against OCC

Blockchain Week in Review: Week of September 10-14, 2018

U.S. Developments

Regulatory Updates

U.S. Judge Says Initial Coin Offerings May Be Covered by Securities Law

On September 11, U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie ruled that U.S. securities laws may cover an initial coin offering and stated that a reasonable jury should be able to apply the “Howey Test” to determine whether the ICO at issue was a security. The ruling came in criminal prosecution of Maksim Zaslavskiy, a Brooklyn businessman charged with conspiracy and two counts of securities fraud for his role in allegedly defrauding investors in two initial coin offerings.  Zaslavskiy’s attorneys had argued that securities law didn’t apply because the ICOs at issue were currencies, not securities and that federal securities laws are unconstitutionally vague as applied to cryptocurrency. In allowing the criminal charges to proceed, Judge Dearie rejected those arguments. However, acknowledging the early procedural stage of the case, the Court made no ruling on whether the virtual currencies offered by REcoin and DRC were securities under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Howey test. The Court did provide some discussion in the dicta previewing a possible Howey analysis. Additional thoughts on this case can be found in Perkins Coie’s latest client update. In March, another federal judge in Brooklyn ruled that cryptocurrencies could be regulated as commodities by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. These cases underscore the importance of fact-specific and contextual analysis when addressing the regulatory treatment of any token or token sale.


Continue Reading

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

Below is a summary of some of the significant legal and regulatory actions that occurred over the past weeks. 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

SEC Chairman Testifies Before the

Below is a summary of some of the significant legal and regulatory actions that occurred over the past weeks. 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.  Please visit our sister blog, FintechLegalReport, for the Fintech

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

South Carolina Legislature Proposes Bill to Enact Anti-Money Laundering Act

South Carolina Representative Alan Clemmons introduced a bill proposing state regulation of money transmission services business.  Titled the “South Carolina Anti-Money Laundering Act,” the proposed act is based on the Uniform Money Services Act.  Under the proposed bill, virtual currencies are included in the definition of money transmission, requiring state licensure.  Presently, South Carolina does not regulate money transmission services businesses.
Continue Reading

In December 2014, the Study Committee of the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) recommended to the ULC to convene a Drafting Committee to draft uniform state legislation concerning alternative currencies and mobile payment systems. Although the Study Committee was charged with examining both alternative currencies and mobile payment systems, the Study Committee has decided to focus primarily on possible uniform legislation concerning virtual currencies. As a first step towards the initiative, the Study Committee is holding a Stakeholder’s Meeting on April 23, 2015, to invite questions, generate discussion and listen to what the participants in the virtual currency sector have to say regarding certain topics on the agenda. The objective of the Meeting is to present a framework of rules derived from experience with the Uniform Commercial Code and identify components critical to a law on virtual currency through a discussion with the attendees.
Continue Reading

A jury was selected for the trial of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht on seven charges, including computer hacking and narcotics trafficking conspiracy.  Ulbricht was also separately charged in District of Maryland court based on alleged murder-for-hire plots.