Category: Cryptocurrencies & ICOs

1
Expanding Your Fintech/Payments Business to the U.S.
2
UK JURISDICTION TASKFORCE STATEMENT ON CRYPTO ASSETS AND SMART CONTRACTS – A “WATERSHED MOMENT”
3
To List or Not to List? NYDFS Seeks Comment on Proposed Rules Authorizing Bitlicensees to Self-Certify Cryptocurrency Listings
4
Japan’s New Crypto Regulation – 2019 Amendments to Payment Services Act and Financial Instruments and Exchange Act of Japan
5
International FinTech Watch: China Announced Positive Stance on Blockchain Technology
6
ASX releases Compliance Update for listed entities on cryptocurrency-related activities
7
Rhode Island & Nevada Enter the Cryptocurrency Fray
8
To regulate or not to regulate? That was the question: UK FCA provides its Final Guidance on regulation of crypto-assets
9
When Does “Actual Delivery” of a Purchased Cryptocurrency Occur? U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Sheds Some Light
10
A Future without Crypto Futures?

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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Rhode Island & Nevada Enter the Cryptocurrency Fray

Jeremy McLaughlin and Dan S. Cohen

Effective January 1, 2020, Rhode Island will join the growing list of states that require entities to obtain a money transmitter license to provide certain services involving cryptocurrency (a.k.a. virtual currency).  The Rhode Island General Assembly recently amended the state’s money transmitter law to require licensing for “currency transmission,” which is defined to include “maintaining control of virtual currency or transactions in virtual currency on behalf of others.” Similar to other states, the revised statute defines “control” as “the power to execute unilaterally or prevent indefinitely a virtual currency transaction.”

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To regulate or not to regulate? That was the question: UK FCA provides its Final Guidance on regulation of crypto-assets

By Jim Bulling and Rebecca Gill

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has released its Feedback and Final Guidance (Guidance) on crypto-assets, specifying when certain types of crypto-assets fall under existing categories. The Guidance is in response to the FCA’s consultation paper from January 2019 on crypto-assets. As we have previously blogged, the consultation paper looked at whether crypto-assets could be considered ‘specified investments’ under the Regulated Activities Order (RAO) and other instruments, and therefore should be regulated.

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When Does “Actual Delivery” of a Purchased Cryptocurrency Occur? U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Sheds Some Light

By Judith Rinearson

Back in 2018, four different courts in the U.S. held that cryptocurrencies were commodities. This did not cause a huge ripple in the cryptocurrency community because the Commodity Exchange Act does not apply to retail commodity sales if the “actual delivery” of the commodity occurs within 28 days after the execution of the transaction, and generally cryptocurrencies are delivered in merely a few days or less.

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A Future without Crypto Futures?

By Jim Bulling, Felix Charlesworth and Charles McDonald

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.

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