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
On September 17, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) announced that at least 40 states will establish a joint examination process for “nationwide payments firms” for the 2021 examination cycle. Known as “MSB Networked Supervision,” the initiative will allow 78 licensed payments companies, including some cryptocurrency exchanges, to undergo one joint examination rather than separate examinations for each state in which they are licensed. The examinations will be conducted by a group of examiners from multiple states but led by one designated state’s regulator. To be eligible, companies must be licensed in at least 40 states. This initiative follows the “One Company, One Exam Pilot” that was completed earlier this year and is part of CSBS Vision 2020, an initiative to create “a networked system of nonbank licensing and supervision.”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
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:
- pre-approved by NYDFS; or
- 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”.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.”Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
The Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”), an intergovernmental organization aimed at combatting money laundering and thwarting terrorist financing, recently issued final recommendations for the regulation of cryptocurrencies. Although the recommendations are not binding on members–it will be up to each of FATF’s 37 member countries to determine whether to enact the recommendations through legislation or regulation–it is expected that they will have widespread adoption and significant implications for the cryptocurrency industry.Read More