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1
Taking Bitcoin to the Bank: FDIC Seeks Comments on Bank Services for Digital Assets
2
Annual Consumer Financial Services Symposium to Focus on 5 Top Issues
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Cannabis Banking in the US – The Latest on the SAFE Act
4
The NFT Explosion – What lawyers need to know
5
First Cannabis-related Business SARs Penalty Against a Depository Institution
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UK Makes Contactless Payments Easier – Purchases up to £100 (~$140) Will No Longer Require Strong Customer Authentication
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Post-Brexit: Significant Changes to UK Cross-Border Payments Regulation
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Significant Changes are Coming: UK Payments Regulation
9
Brexit: Payment Regulations on a Temporary Standstill
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Cryptocurrency 2018: When the Law Catches Up with Game-Changing Technology

Taking Bitcoin to the Bank: FDIC Seeks Comments on Bank Services for Digital Assets

By: Judie Rinearson, Jeremy McLaughlin, and Daniel S. Cohen

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has issued a “Request for Information and Comment on Digital Assets” (RFI) to learn more about the “novel and unique considerations related to digital assets….[g]iven that banks are increasingly exploring the emerging digital asset ecosystem.” A key theme of the RFI is the development of a framework to promote “responsible innovation.” Comments are due by July 16, 2021.

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Annual Consumer Financial Services Symposium to Focus on 5 Top Issues

K&L Gates is proud to host the 2021 Consumer Financial Services Symposium – Virtual Edition.  This symposium will consist of a series of webinars over the course of several weeks with the first panel focusing on FinTech Trends, Developments, and New Directions on Wednesday, April 21 at 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST. 

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Cannabis Banking in the US – The Latest on the SAFE Act

By: Brenden R. Chainey, Daniel S. Cohen, Daniel F. C. Crowley, Scott J. Gelbman, Barry M. Hartman, Kathleen L. Nicholas

In September 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019”, the first stand-alone cannabis legislation to be approved by the House of Representatives. Earlier this month, revised versions of the bill were introduced in the House and Senate “to reform federal cannabis laws and reduce the public safety risk in communities across the country.”

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The NFT Explosion – What lawyers need to know

First there were CryptoKitties. Then came Digital art, CryptoPunks and NBA tokens. But when Beeple’s digital art piece sold at Christie’s for $69 million, the mania truly  began.  And as with any wave of media mania, also came the groundswell of negative media and hand-wringing about NFTs.   Of course, NFTs are not all evil nor are they a panacea for artists and musicians. If properly issued and positioned, they can provide a win-win for both artists and collectors.

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First Cannabis-related Business SARs Penalty Against a Depository Institution

By: Daniel Cohen, Judie Rinearson, Jeremy McLaughlin

On 21 February 2021, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) became the first prudential regulator to issue an administrative order against a depository institution primarily on the basis of noncompliance with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) “BSA Expectations Regarding Marijuana-related Businesses” (FIN-2014-GOO1) (MRB Guidance). NCUA and Live Life Federal Credit Union entered into a stipulation and a consent to a cease and desist order in which the credit union, without admitting any wrongdoing,  agreed to “implement an automated system to effectively monitor and identify all transaction for suspicious activity…includ[ing] functions to support [its] compliance with FinCEN requirements for Marijuana-Related Businesses (“MRB”).”

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UK Makes Contactless Payments Easier – Purchases up to £100 (~$140) Will No Longer Require Strong Customer Authentication

By Kai Zhang

Following consultation in January 2021 (CP21/3), the UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) published its decision, on 3 March (PS21/2), to increase the contactless payment limits under the Strong Customer Authentication (“SCA”) requirements. Essentially, SCA is not required for single contactless transactions up to the value of £100 (about $140) per transaction (increased from the previous £45 ($62)), subject to (amongst others) the cumulative transaction value threshold of £300 (about $420) (increased from the previous £130 ($180)). Once this cumulative threshold is hit, the contactless transaction must again be authenticated before the transaction can proceed.  The cumulative threshold was initially proposed at £200 in the consultation but is set at £300 in response to the industry feedback (according to the FCA).

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Post-Brexit: Significant Changes to UK Cross-Border Payments Regulation

By Kai Zhang, Philip Morgan and Judie Rinearson 

The EU Cross-Border Payments Regulation 924/2009 (as amended by Regulation 2019/518) (EU CBPR) has been “onshored” with significant changes into UK law following the end of the Brexit transition period (i.e., since 1 January 2021). The EU CBPR applied directly in the UK until 31 December 2020. Essentially, the onshored UK CBPR regime only retains the transparency requirements on currency conversion charges under the EU CBPR. This means that UK payment service providers (PSPs) no longer have to comply with other requirements under the EU CBPR.

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Significant Changes are Coming: UK Payments Regulation

By Kai Zhang, Philip Morgan, and Judie Rinearson

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) commenced, on 28 January 2021, a consultation (CP21/3) on various changes to the UK regulation of payment services and electronic money. The proposals include amendments to the substantive regulatory requirements as well as changes to the FCA guidance. Similar to an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) in the US, the consultation seeks industry and public feedback, and is fully expected to lead to formal regulation in the near future.

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Brexit: Payment Regulations on a Temporary Standstill

By Kai Zhang, Special Counsel, London

Changes are coming to the UK payment services regulatory landscape post-Brexit (from 1 January 2021). However, certain Brexit-triggered changes have been put by the FCA on “standstill”, which lasts until 31 March 2022; i.e. during this standstill period, firms can effectively ignore the relevant changes and continue to comply with the current requirements.

We summarise here how the standstill applies to some of the key legislation. Note that this does not cover the changes themselves that have been made due to Brexit.

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Cryptocurrency 2018: When the Law Catches Up with Game-Changing Technology

By David E. Fialkow, Edward J. Mikolinksi and Jack S. BrodskyBlockchain technology and the virtual currency, or cryptocurrency, that uses this technology are revolutionizing the way businesses function and deliver goods and services. Even as cryptocurrency becomes a widely debated topic, gaining the critical attention of regulators and policymakers, individuals and businesses are investing billions of dollars in cryptocurrency annually. To understand how blockchain and cryptocurrency may impact you, your business, and your industry, it is important to understand what cryptocurrency is and how the underlying blockchain works. This article provides a brief introduction to these concepts as well as a primer on cryptocurrency legal issues.  To read the full article, click here.

 

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