On 1 November 2021, the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets (PWG), in conjunction with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Comptroller of the Currency, issued a long-awaited joint “Report on Stablecoins” (Report). Per the press release (and a speech by Undersecretary of Treasury Nellie Liang), the Report is intended to “identify regulatory gaps related to “payment stablecoins” (defined as stablecoins that are designed to maintain a stable value and “therefore have potential to be used as widespread means of payment”), and to present recommendations for addressing those gaps.”Read More
On November 18, 2019, Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the UK High Court, announced the launch of a “Legal Statement on Crypto Assets and Smart Contracts,” which he described as a “watershed moment” for English Law. The statement, which can be found here, brings new clarity to the likely status of both smart contracts and cryptocurrencies under English law.
A committee of experts has prepared the statement and, although technically it carries no binding legal authority, it is likely to be regarded as the most authoritative position available until the matters it covers are dealt with specifically by the English courts or by revised legislation.Read More
Japan will fundamentally change its crypto asset regulations effective in spring of 2020.
In May, 2019, the National Diet, the Japanese national legislature, passed an amendment bill to the Payment Services Act (the “PSA”) and the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (the “FIEA”), which was promulgated on June 7, 2019 (the “2019 Amendment”). The 2019 Amendment will become effective within one year from promulgation, following further rulemaking by the Japan Financial Services Agency (the “JFSA”) to implement the 2019 Amendment, which is anticipated sometime soon and includes public comment process.Read More
On 24 October 2019, China President Xi Jinping expressed strong support for blockchain, which was depicted as “a core technology” to promote China’s industry innovation and digital economy development. In his speech, he also noted that blockchain technology has already been applied in a number of sectors like digital finance, internet of things, intelligent manufacturing and supply chain management, and that since China has a solid foundation of blockchain technology, it should seize the opportunity to build up blockchain industrial ecology and accelerate the integration of blockchain, AI, big data and other cutting edge technologies.Read More
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has touted further regulation of cryptocurrency markets. In their Consultation Paper (Paper) published on 3 July 2019, the FCA has announced it will begin the consultation process on its proposed move to ban the sale, marketing, and distribution to retail consumers of derivatives and exchange traded notes (ETNs) that reference certain types of cryptoassets.Read More
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) along with several other central banks, have provided their initial responses to the recent announcement by Facebook (in conjunction with businesses such as MasterCard, Spotify and PayPal) of its plans to create a new blockchain based currency and payment system known as Libra.Read More
The Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”), an intergovernmental organization aimed at combatting money laundering and thwarting terrorist financing, recently issued final recommendations for the regulation of cryptocurrencies. Although the recommendations are not binding on members–it will be up to each of FATF’s 37 member countries to determine whether to enact the recommendations through legislation or regulation–it is expected that they will have widespread adoption and significant implications for the cryptocurrency industry.Read More
Late last month, several of the world’s largest banks invested $50 million in a digital cash settlement project with the aim of developing a more efficient clearing and settlement system. The new technology, referred to as the ‘utility settlement coin’ (USC), has been a work in progress since 2015, after Swiss bank UBS Group and London-based technology startup Clearmatics announced to the market that they had commenced working on the project.Read More
On 30 April 2019, Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) released the first of seven “drops” of software code into the “Customer Development Environment”. This marks the beginning of the introduction of the new equities clearing and settlement system, which ASX is developing to replace the existing CHESS system. The new system is based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) and promises to provide customers with access to real-time, synchronised, source-of-truth data.Read More