Digital currency is an exciting, dynamic and growing technology changing the financial and legal landscapes. To keep pace, corporate counsel must stay abreast of new rules, new regulations, and new applications of blockchain technology. Recognizing this need, Digital Currency + Blockchain Perspectives chronicles industry news, including regulatory developments and other issues affecting our clients and the digital currency industry.

Node Agreements for Blockchain-Based Tokens

The method by which cryptocurrency and digital asset companies issue their blockchain-based tokens into the market has evolved, pushed along by regulatory developments and technological advancements.  We have observed the popularity ebb-and-flow of direct token sales, Simple Agreements for Tokens (‘SAFTs’), genesis tokens convertible into principal tokens, and gifted distributions. …

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The Pros and Cons of Bank Holding Companies

Last week, Northeast Bank became the fourth banking organization in two years to eliminate its holding company. Previously, ZB, N.A. (now Zions Bancorporation, N.A.) (September 2018), BancorpSouth Bank (October 2017), and Bank of the Ozarks (June 2017) also eliminated their holding companies. All of the transactions were motivated, at least…

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SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce Worries Agency's Lag in Directing Token Industry Will Stifle Growth; FinCEN Issues Guidance on Virtual Currencies

On May 9, 2019, Commissioner Hester Peirce of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) expressed concern that the SEC is moving too slowly in providing meaningful guidance for the digital token industry. Commissioner Peirce acknowledged that the SEC has provided some direction to date by: (1) issuing the DAO…

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Consensus 2019: Check out Goodwin's Sponsored Session "Perspectives on SEC Engagement Concerning Digital Assets"

Goodwin will be out in full force at Consensus 2019 taking place next week in New York. We are sponsoring an informative all-female panel featuring Goodwin Partner Meghan Spillane and Counsel Tami Goldberg, as well as guest speakers from Coinbase and the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, discussing engaging with the…

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SEC’s TurnKey Jet No-Action Letter Indicates Baseline for Utility Tokens

On Apr. 3, 2019, the SEC Division of Corporation Finance (“Division”) issued a no-action letter  to TurnKey Jet, Inc. (“TKJ”) in response to TKJ’s incoming letter dated Apr. 2, 2019. At the same time, the Division released a paper entitled “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets” (see accompanying…

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The SEC Releases New “Framework” to Analyze Digital Assets under Securities Laws

On April 3, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released the “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets” (the “Framework”). The Framework—published by the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (“FinHub”) —is the most comprehensive guidance the SEC has provided to date with respect to a…

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