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SEC Alleges "Crypto Asset Securities" Insider Trading; Case Has Significant Implications for the Digital Asset Industry

On July 21, 2022, the SEC charged three individuals with insider trading of digital assets via a scheme to trade ahead of multiple announcements regarding crypto assets being made available on a United States-based digital asset exchange at which one individual was a former product manager. In the complaint, the SEC identifies…

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SEC Sues Ripple and Executives in Connection With Ongoing Sales of XRP

The SEC, in one of the Commission’s final acts under the leadership of Chair Jay Clayton, approved enforcement action aimed at Ripple Labs, Inc. (“Ripple”) and two of its executives, Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen. The SEC filed its complaint on December 22, 2020 in the Southern District of New…

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SEC Wins Injunctive Relief to Prevent Telegram's Distribution of $1.7B Worth of Cryptocurrency

In a recent decision in Securities and Exchange Commission v. Telegram Group Inc. and TON Issuer Inc., the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted a motion for a preliminary injunction by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), thereby preventing the distribution to purchasers of…

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Goodwin Releases Publication Covering Recent U.S. Regulatory and Legal Developments in Digital Currency + Blockchain

2019 was a year of significant regulatory and legal developments in digital currency + blockchain. The SEC issued its most comprehensive guidance to date with its Framework for “Investment Contract” Analysis of Digital Assets, followed that up with three “no action” letters for projects that in its view complied with…

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SEC Commissioner Peirce Proposes Safe Harbor for Blockchain Developers

Speaking at the International Blockchain Congress in Chicago on February 6, 2020, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce proposed a safe harbor from U.S. securities laws so that developers of blockchain protocols could offer and sell tokens for the purpose of developing functioning token networks and creating liquidity for users. Commissioner Peirce’s…

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Basis Stablecoin Shuts Down Due to What it Deems a “Serious Negative Impact” of U.S. Securities Regulations

Basis, one of the most well-funded crypto-startups, had plans to create an algorithmic central bank that aimed to create a price-stable cryptocurrency within a decentralized monetary system. In its April 2018 fundraising efforts, Basis had secured $133 million in funding from large institutional investors.  However, citing regulatory constraints, Basis announced…

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SEC Director Clears Path for Secondary Sales of Security Tokens as Non-Securities, Declares Bitcoin and Ether Non-Securities

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finally provided some good news, and guidance, regarding permissible token sales. On June 14, 2018, William Hinman, Director of the SEC Division of Corporation Finance, speaking at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: Crypto, shared remarks that filled in some gaps surrounding the security…

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