Category: Cryptocurrencies & ICOs

1
California’s Executive Order Embraces Crypto
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UK’s Increased Regulatory Interest in Cryptoassets
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The Fed Wants Your Input On A Potential Digital Dollar
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Satoshi Goes to Washington : Senator Toomey Issues RFI to Inform Digital Asset Legislation
5
Taking Bitcoin to the Bank: FDIC Seeks Comments on Bank Services for Digital Assets
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The NFT Explosion – What lawyers need to know
7
It’s Happening in the UK: UK Treasury to Regulate Stablecoins
8
The OCC Tells Cryptocurrency Holders to Take It to the Bank: National Banks and FSAs Can Now (Definitively) Provide Custodial Services for Cryptocurrency
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FATF report to the G20 on stablecoins
10
An Empire State Glimmer of Hope for Crypto

California’s Executive Order Embraces Crypto

By Jeremy McLaughlin and Christian A. Zazzali

On May 4, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on digital assets largely echoing the positive sentiments of President Biden’s February executive order. The order looks to create transparent regulation around digital assets and drive innovation into the state. By directing state agencies to engage in a cooperative discussion with stakeholders and developers in web3, California seeks to create an informed supplement to the federal report on digital assets, which is due in September. 

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UK’s Increased Regulatory Interest in Cryptoassets

By Judith Rinearson and Kai Zhang

On 24 March 2022, the Bank of England (in the name of its Financial Policy Committee) published a paper on the potential risks of cryptoassets to UK financial stability. While the risks are currently considered to be limited given the small size of the cryptoassets and associated markets relative to the global financial system, the FPC notes that the rapid growth of the crypto sector and potential for interconnections with the wider financial system mean that they will present financial stability risks in the future.

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The Fed Wants Your Input On A Potential Digital Dollar

By Jeremy M. McLaughlin and Daniel S. Nuñez Cohen

Last week the Federal Reserve Board (the “Fed”) issued a discussion paper entitled “Money and Payments: The U.S. Dollar in the Age of Digital Transformation” (the “Paper”). The Paper explores the advantages and disadvantages of the Fed issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC or digital dollar); key design considerations of such a currency; and seeks feedback from the public on 22 specific questions directed at those topics.  Comments are due by May 20, 2022. Given that Congress has indicated its interest in the Paper, digital asset and financial services industry participants should use this opportunity to have their voices heard by the Fed and members of Congress.

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Satoshi Goes to Washington : Senator Toomey Issues RFI to Inform Digital Asset Legislation

By Jeremy M. McLaughlin, Judith Rinearson, and Daniel S. Cohen

As we have noted in the past, federal regulation of the digital asset/cryptocurrency/DeFi community is evolving and there are many perspectives on what direction it should take. For instance, earlier this week, the House Democratic leadership and a group of moderate House Democrats agreed to a compromise that would prevent the House of Representatives from amending the Senate-passed “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” (H.R. 3684), thereby preserving the bill’s provisions expanding the definition of “broker” under the Internal Revenue Code to apply to various digital asset market participants.

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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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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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It’s Happening in the UK: UK Treasury to Regulate Stablecoins

By Kai Zhang and Judie Rinearson

On 7 January, the UK Treasury published a consultation on its proposed approach to regulating stablecoins. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/uk-regulatory-approach-to-cryptoassets-and-stablecoins-consultation-and-call-for-evidence  Although the title of the consultation includes “cryptoassets” – this is the just first stage in the consultative process for cryptoassets, which focuses on stablecoins referred to as “stable tokens”. The consultation closes on 21 March. For US readers, a “consultation” is the start of regulatory process, not unlike an “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” or “ANPR” in the US.  The UK government sets out the supervisory perimeters, seeking input from the public, and leaving the detailed requirements to be designed by the regulators. Accordingly, the consultation discusses only general principles and the overall framework.

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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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