FinTech Law Watch

At the Crossroads of Law, Innovation and Commerce

 

1
UK Regulator Ready to Take on Visa/MasterCard Payment Networks
2
On Heels of Crypto Legislative Activity, NYDFS Follows Up With Crypto Stablecoin Guidance
3
New York Legislators Address Crypto Head-On
4
Let Me In: Wyoming Special Purpose Bank Sues Fed for Access to Payments System
5
10 Impactful Provisions of the Lummis-Gillibrand Bill
6
California Soliciting Comments on Potential Regulation of Crypto Products and Services
7
California’s Executive Order Embraces Crypto
8
UK’s Increased Regulatory Interest in Cryptoassets
9
The Fed Wants Your Input On A Potential Digital Dollar
10
Do Consumers Really Need More Financial Protections? The UK Government Says Yes!

UK Regulator Ready to Take on Visa/MasterCard Payment Networks

By Judie Rinearson and Kai Zhang

The UK Payment System Regulator (“PSR”), which is becoming increasingly assertive, issued on 21 June 2022 two consultations taking a closer look at the Visa and Mastercard “schemes” in the UK.[1] The PSR proposes two market reviews: one into how Visa and Mastercard set the interchange fees; the other into how Visa and Mastercard set their scheme and processing fees. The market reviews will be conducted after the consultations close on 2 August 2022.

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On Heels of Crypto Legislative Activity, NYDFS Follows Up With Crypto Stablecoin Guidance

By Jeremy M. McLaughlin, Andrew M. Hinkes, and Christian Zazzali

On June 8, 2022, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) released regulatory guidance applicable only to payment stablecoins that are backed by the U.S. Dollar and issued by entities regulated by NYDFS. The guidance comes one day after Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) released a bill calling for dramatic changes to federal regulation of the cryptocurrency industry (see our quick analysis here) and less than a week after New York’s legislature passed two bills aimed at crypto regulation. Focusing on three criteria—redeemability, reserves, and attestation—the NYDFS stablecoin guidance is intended to ensure that payment stablecoin issuers remain solvent so holders of those payment stablecoins can timely exercise their right to redeem. This guidance does not address a stablecoin’s trading price and does not mandate that the issuer take any active measures to ensure the price of the asset on markets.

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New York Legislators Address Crypto Head-On

By Jeremy M. McLaughlin, Christian A. Zazzali, and Josh Durham

On Friday June 3, 2022, New York lawmakers passed two cryptocurrency bills, whose fate now lie in the hands of Gov. Kathy Hochul. Together, they would impose a moratorium on certain cryptocurrency mining operations and establish a cryptocurrency and blockchain task force. If successful, the mining ban would make New York the first state to enact such a moratorium.

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Let Me In: Wyoming Special Purpose Bank Sues Fed for Access to Payments System

By Grant F. Butler, Andrew M. Hinkes, and Robert M. Tammero, Jr.

Custodia Bank (“Custodia”) filed a complaint against the Federal Reserve Board (“FRB”) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (“FRBKC”) in Wyoming federal court alleging that the FRB and FRBKC are unlawfully refusing to act on Custodia’s application for a master account.  A Federal Reserve master account allows banks to directly access the Federal Reserve and utilize the Federal Reserve System’s payment, clearing and settlement services. 

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10 Impactful Provisions of the Lummis-Gillibrand Bill

By Andrew Hinkes, Eden Rohrer, and Judie Rinearson

The “Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act,” announced this morning, lays out a bold agenda for legal reform across multiple regulatory regimes aimed at clarifying legal requirements for regulated entities to issue, trade, and provide services related to certain digital assets. Although a point by point summary of the 69 page bill is beyond the scope of this post, here’s a brief summary of 10 impactful provisions from the Bill:

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California Soliciting Comments on Potential Regulation of Crypto Products and Services

By Jeremy McLaughlin and Christian A. Zazzali

On May 4, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on digital assets, which seeks sensible, transparent regulation through engagement with developers of digital asset-related products and services. For a detailed discussion on the executive order, see our prior blog here. In response, California’s financial regulator, the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI), issued an invitation to submit comments on crypto-asset related products and services under the California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL).  The deadline for submission is August 5, 2022.

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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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Do Consumers Really Need More Financial Protections? The UK Government Says Yes!

By Judith Rinearson and Kai Zhang

In May 2021, the UK‘s Financial conduct authority (FCA) published a consultation paper proposing there would be a “new consumer duty“.[1]  The central proposition is that a firm must deliver “good outcomes” for consumers which is then supplemented by additional requirements. 

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