Twelve financial regulators and related organisations, including the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), announced on 7 August the creation of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), building on the FCA’s proposal earlier this year to create a ‘global sandbox’. A list of GFIN members is here. The network will seek to provide a more efficient way for innovative FinTech firms to interact with regulators. It will also create a new framework for co-operation between financial services regulators on innovation related topics.
Recent technological innovations are transforming how financial activites are conducted and regulated. Technological advances have also resulted in disrupting traditional financial services and other related activities globally. In response to this, the Abu Dhabi Global Market introduced its legal framework regulating spot trading of crypto assets, including activities carried on by crypto asset exchanges, crypto asset custodians, and, where applicable, intermediaries engaged in crypto asset activities.
Please see our latest thinking here for a full discussion of Abu Dhabi’s new crypto asset legal framework.
By Cameron Abbott and Sarah Goegan
In the old days the bank robbers would rob the local town and ride off into the sunset. The new version is a little less easy to see. Coinrail, a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, has announced that it was hacked on 10 June. That’s a polite phrase for “our customers lost a lot of coins”.
The cyberattack resulted in more than $40 million USD worth of altcoins (coins that aren’t bitcoin or Ethereum) being stolen. This represented around 30% of coins traded on the exchange. Quite a substantial amount, considering Coinrail is a smaller cryptocurrency exchange!
In the US, several attempts at class actions for those affected by a data breach have failed challenges in early procedural stages. In Dieffenbach v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., 887 F.3d 826 (7th Cir. Apr. 11, 2018), the Seventh Circuit allowed a data breach class action to survive the pleadings stage. At the same time, the Court indicated that the plaintiffs may have a tough time proving their claims on the merits or establishing that class certification is warranted. At the end of the day, the Dieffenbach decision may prove to be less of a boon and more of a bust for plaintiffs in data breach class actions. Although it may provide a means to get into court, the decision makes clear that obtaining a favorable outcome may be a “difficult task.” For a full summary of the Dieffenbach decision please see our client alert here.
In a speech to Innovate Finance 2018 on 19 March, Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) talked about the demand from FinTech firms to operate internationally and the FCA working with partners from around the world to consider options for a global sandbox. He said that the potential of such a project is huge – from solving global problems like money laundering to reducing the regulatory burden of compliance. Currently there is no joint sandbox programme with other regulators for firms to participate in. Such a project represents new territory.
By Cameron Abbott and Olivia Coburn
Oracle has finally realised that it wants to hang out with the cool FinTech kids on the block, having recently announced the release of its Oracle Banking Payments application programming interface (API) service.
Oracle’s move recognises the value of offering better ways for its banking clients to collaborate with FinTechs and other third parties.
“Getting the Deal Through” is a publication that provides international expert analysis in key areas of law, practice and regulation for corporate counsel, cross-border legal practitioners, and company directors and officers.
The inaugural edition of Fintech serves as a resource to help fintech entrepreneurs and their advisers and investors around the world navigate the often complex key legal and regulatory issues on which we are most often asked to advise. Two of the chapters were authored by K&L Gates lawyers.
To read this publication, click here.
Global law firm K&L Gates welcomes Judith Rinearson and Linda C. Odom as partners in the firm’s FinTech and Consumer Financial Services practices. Rinearson joins K&L Gates’ New York and London offices, and Odom, joins the Washington, D.C. office. “Judie Rinearson and Linda Odom are highly respected authorities in numerous key regulatory and commercial areas within the FinTech ecosystem,” stated Robert Zinn, co-leader of K&L Gates’ global corporate and transactional practice area as well as of the firm’s market-leading global FinTech practice.
To read our full press release please click here.
Investment in fintech systems is becoming increasingly popular globally, but no more so than it is in the UK. Deal volumes in the UK have been growing at 74% per year since 2008 (compared with 27% globally). This digital disruption marks the most major period of change for financial services companies in decades.
According to recent data, the UK alone accounted for $901 million of the $12.5 billion invested in fintech worldwide last year. Five other European nations combined for $1.1 billion. This huge investment in the UK included two of the top 20 fintech deals in the world – Challenger Bank Atom raised $125 million, and peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle raised $150 million. Over 60% of fintech venture capital investment investments in 2015 were made into alternative finance and payment services such as Funding Circle, Currency Cloud and Transferwise.
See here for The 2015 Fintech Investment Landscape, February 2016.
The Australian stock exchange ASX has announced that it has partnered with a US-based firm to develop distributed ledger technology, more commonly referred to as blockchain. The ASX is planning to develop the ledger technology for post-trade services such as clearing and settlement of the cash equities market. Unlike the bitcoin blockchain which operates as a public ledger, the ASX will use a private network which will only allow parties with permission from the ASX to participate.