Category: Cryptocurrencies & ICOs

1
The OCC Tells Cryptocurrency Holders to Take It to the Bank: National Banks and FSAs Can Now (Definitively) Provide Custodial Services for Cryptocurrency
2
FATF report to the G20 on stablecoins
3
An Empire State Glimmer of Hope for Crypto
4
The OCC’S ANPR on Digital Banking: Is this a Harbinger for Digital and Open Banking in the US?
5
Expanding Your Fintech/Payments Business to the U.S.
6
UK JURISDICTION TASKFORCE STATEMENT ON CRYPTO ASSETS AND SMART CONTRACTS – A “WATERSHED MOMENT”
7
To List or Not to List? NYDFS Seeks Comment on Proposed Rules Authorizing Bitlicensees to Self-Certify Cryptocurrency Listings
8
Japan’s New Crypto Regulation – 2019 Amendments to Payment Services Act and Financial Instruments and Exchange Act of Japan
9
International FinTech Watch: China Announced Positive Stance on Blockchain Technology
10
ASX releases Compliance Update for listed entities on cryptocurrency-related activities

The OCC Tells Cryptocurrency Holders to Take It to the Bank: National Banks and FSAs Can Now (Definitively) Provide Custodial Services for Cryptocurrency

By Judith Rinearson, Jeremy McLaughlin, and Daniel Cohen

On 22 July, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued an interpretive letter confirming that national banks and federal savings associations (collectively, banks) can offer custodial services for cryptoassets because “providing cryptocurrency custody services…is a modern form of traditional bank activities related to custody services.”

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FATF report to the G20 on stablecoins

By Giovanni Campi

Stablecoins have attracted much regulatory attention lately. The G7 working group on stablecoins, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the European Commission are among the international institutions pressing for global stablecoins regulation. The overarching regulatory problems they all identify are:

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An Empire State Glimmer of Hope for Crypto

By: Jeremy McLaughlin and Daniel Cohen

It’s no secret that accessing the New York market is difficult, if not impossible, for some digital asset companies, especially those in their early stages.  New York’s Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) is hoping to change that—at least incrementally—with several initiatives it recently announced.  Our digital asset team will soon provide a detailed analysis of the initiatives, but in the meantime here is a brief summary:

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The OCC’S ANPR on Digital Banking: Is this a Harbinger for Digital and Open Banking in the US?

By Judie Rinearson, John ReVeal and Stan Ragalevsky

The office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on June 3, 2020, focusing on digital banking activities. Typically such ANPRs are a precursor to new federal regulation; following collection of data from the industry and other interested parties, the OCC may propose new regulations by issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking within 6-12 months.  Responses to the ANPR are due on August 3, 2020.

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Expanding Your Fintech/Payments Business to the U.S.

By Judie Rinearson, Daniel Knight and Daniel Atkin

With Australia joining the boom in new and innovative Fintechs around the world, our challenger banks, payments businesses and Fintechs have gained global recognition.

While entering into the lucrative U.S market is enticing, it can also be a daunting concept for those without insider knowledge.

K&L Gates’ New York Fintech partner Judie Rinearson, was able to provide us with the information necessary for making the transition, successfully.

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UK JURISDICTION TASKFORCE STATEMENT ON CRYPTO ASSETS AND SMART CONTRACTS – A “WATERSHED MOMENT”

By Judith Rinearson and Philip Morgan

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.

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To List or Not to List? NYDFS Seeks Comment on Proposed Rules Authorizing Bitlicensees to Self-Certify Cryptocurrency Listings

Daniel S. Cohen and Jeremy M. McLaughlin

On December 11, 2019, the New York Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) published “Proposed Guidance Regarding Adoption or Listing of Virtual Currencies” (“Proposal”). The Proposal would establish a framework to allow “regulated virtual currency licensees” and entities exempt from licensure, such as trust companies, to offer or incorporate into their services cryptocurrencies that are:

  1. pre-approved by NYDFS; or
  2. certified by the licensee as being compliant with the licensee’s NYDFS-approved listing criteria.

The Proposal is intended to “enhance efficiency” and enable licensees to “offer and use new coins in a timely fashion”.

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Japan’s New Crypto Regulation – 2019 Amendments to Payment Services Act and Financial Instruments and Exchange Act of Japan

By Tsuguhito Omagari and Yuki Sako

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.

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International FinTech Watch: China Announced Positive Stance on Blockchain Technology

By Jim Bulling and Wendy Li

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.

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ASX releases Compliance Update for listed entities on cryptocurrency-related activities

By Jim Bulling and Rebecca Gill

On 1 August 2019, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) published its Compliance Update (Update) which sets out its guidance for listed entities that are proposing to engage in cryptocurrency-related activities, being initial coin offerings (ICOs) and initial exchange offerings (IEOs).

The Update notes that many tokens offered to investors in Australia as part of an ICO or an IEO may be regulated by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) as the tokens may constitute interests in managed investment schemes. As such, listed entities should seek legal advice prior to engaging in cryptocurrency-related activities.

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