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tZERO ATS Settlement with SEC: Square Peg/Round Hole or Simple Failure to Follow Existing Rules?

On January 10, 2022, tZERO’s ATS settled a matter with the SEC in which it agreed to an $800,000 fine.  Given the size of the penalty and substantial attention on the SEC’s approach to regulating digital asset securities, readers may have thought that this would present a blockbuster set of…

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SEC Enforcement Updates: Interim Director Named; Staff Investigative Powers Bolstered; “Bad Boy” Waivers Less Certain

The past few weeks have ushered in signs of what’s likely to come from the SEC’s Division of Enforcement under the Biden Administration, including a greater number of investigations and a tougher path to “bad boy” waivers for issuers.  The SEC’s enforcement program plays a critical role in the agency’s…

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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 to Wyoming (Division of Banking): Interpreting Federal Securities Laws and Rules is our Domain

In early November 2020, the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Division of Investment Management (“IM Division”), in consultation with the SEC’s “FinHub” staff, issued a statement in response to a No-Action Letter from the Wyoming Division of Banking purporting to provide interpretive guidance on both Wyoming…

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New York Department of Financial Services Announces New Virtual Currency Initiatives

On June 24, 2020, New York’s Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) announced a series of steps it is taking to promote development and opportunities in the virtual currency space.  These actions would build upon New York’s “BitLicense,” a virtual currency licensing regime implemented in 2015 that establishes minimum standards for…

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