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.Read More
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:Read More
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: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
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.Read More
In the lead up to the annual G20 Summit, to be hosted by Japan, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has commissioned the creation of a cryptocurrency governance manual. The manual, which will be distributed at the G20 Summit, supports a uniform approach to regulating cryptocurrencies and contains regulatory proposals and justifications relating to the following issues:
- protecting customer assets;
- international security protocols; and
- providing customers with information (particularly in the event of a hack).
By Cameron Abbott and Ella Richards
In an age where cyber security breaches are a near daily occurrence, and where we’re frequently reminded to keep our passwords secret and safe, the story that’s emerged regarding the fate of over AU$190 million of crypto-currency following the death of Gerald Cotten, the founder of Quadriga CX, is a little ironic to say the least.
The untimely death of the 30-year-old in December brought with it an unexpected sober reality – Mr Cotten was the only person with access to Quadriga’s coin reserve. No really … the ONLY person… you can see where this is going can’t you?Read More
On 19 September, the UK House of Commons Treasury Committee published a highly critical report of the state of UK crypto-asset regulation. Crypto-assets themselves (i.e. those designed primarily as a means of payment / exchange) are not within the scope of UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation. This is because crypto-assets generally will not meet the criteria to be considered a specified investment under the Regulated Activities Order (RAO), nor would they typically qualify as ‘funds’ or ‘e-money’ in the Payments Services Directive and the E-Money Regulation 2009.
By Dan S. Cohen
The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) is ramping up its enforcement efforts in the digital asset industry, expanding its focus to include digital asset brokers and investment companies. On September 11, the Commission issued an order against a digital asset hedge fund and announced a settlement with a self-described “ICO superstore” for violating federal securities laws. The Commission fined Crypto Asset Management LP and its principal for failing to register as an investment company, among other things. According to the SEC, Crypto Asset Management, which trades digital assets exclusively, is an investment company pursuant to the Investment Company Act because it “invest[s], reinvest[s], own[s], hold[s] or trad[es] in securities.”
On 19 September, the president of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Marshall Billingslea, said he is optimistic that at its plenary, due in October 2018, the FATF will agree a series of updated standards. He said: “It is essential that we establish a global set of standards that are applied in a uniform manner”. He said that the task force has accelerated its work and made significant progress on reaching a “consensus across nations” after the G20 requested the organisation tackle the issue as a matter of urgency.