Archive: October 2018

1
Fintech Lenders To Face Senate Inquiry
2
The Rise of PayWear
3
Commissioner Brian Quintenz Comments On The Liability Of Smart Contract Developers For Uses In Violation of CFTC Regulations
4
Financial Stability Board’s View on Crypto-Assets
5
ASIC enters into bilateral cross border cooperation agreement with US regulator

Fintech Lenders To Face Senate Inquiry

By Jim Bulling and Edwin Tan

On 17 October 2018, the Senate resolved to refer certain credit service providers, including payday lenders, fintech “buy now, pay later” providers and credit repair agencies to the Senate Economics References Committee for inquiry.  Under the proposed terms of reference, the inquiry will look at:

  • the impact of the service providers on individuals, communities and the broader financial system;
  • whether current regulation of the service providers meets community standards and expectations;
  • whether reform is needed to address harm being caused to consumers; and
  • the present capacity and capability of the financial counselling sector to provide financial counselling services to financially stressed and distressed members of the community.

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The Rise of PayWear

By Jim Bulling and Elise Hamblin

Contactless payment technology has expanded beyond traditional credit or debit cards to include smart watches and phones that are fitted with “Near Field Communication” technology. Westpac is now the first major bank in Australia to embrace “PayWear” as the next development in this space.

What is “PayWear”?

PayWear allows a consumer to make payments by tapping a “Smart” accessory to a contactless payment terminal. For example, Westpac’s “Centsitive Objects” range has reimagined the traditional Debit Mastercard as an accessory. Other smaller banks have also recently introduced PayWear options for consumers, including Heritage Bank’s wearable wrist band and Bankwest’s payment ring.

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Commissioner Brian Quintenz Comments On The Liability Of Smart Contract Developers For Uses In Violation of CFTC Regulations

By Anthony R.G. Nolan and Russell E. Deutsch

Recently, Commissioner Brian Quintenz of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commented that smart contracts that have the defining features of a swap, future or option are subject to CFTC regulation. The Commissioner posited the hypothetical that, after appropriate analysis, the CFTC has concluded that a particular smart contract, e.g., a binary option executed on a blockchain, is within its jurisdiction. He queried: If that contract is executed in violation of CFTC regulations, then against whom should the CFTC bring enforcement action?

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Financial Stability Board’s View on Crypto-Assets

By Jim Bulling and Edwin Tan

On 10 October 2018, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) released a report assessing the risks and implications of crypto-assets on financial stability.  The FSB considered that the growth of crypto-asset trading platforms, the introduction of new financial products (crypto-asset funds and exchange-traded products) and growing interest by retail investors together could lead to implications on global financial stability.

In its report, the FSB assessed the primary risks in crypto-asset markets which could expose and undermine confidence in the financial system and in financial regulators.

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ASIC enters into bilateral cross border cooperation agreement with US regulator

By Jim Bulling, Felix Charlesworth and Edwin Tan

On 4 October 2018, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) entered into the ‘Cooperation Arrangement on Financial Technology Innovation’ bilateral agreement (Agreement) with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to cooperate and exchange information in the fintech and regtech industries in each jurisdiction. Broadly, the Agreement seeks to enhance mutual understanding, identify market developments and trends, facilitate fintech innovation and foster the use of more efficient and effective regtech.

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