Digital Currency

FINRA Targets ICOs and Digital Currencies in Annual Broker Exam Priorities Letter

On January 8, 2018, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released its 2018 Annual Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter (Exam Priorities Letter) for its broker-dealer members.  In the Exam Priorities Letter, FINRA addresses initial coin offerings (ICOs) and digital currencies, stating the following: “FINRA will closely monitor developments in this…

Read More

ICO Participant Liability - Could you be Liable for Assisting in the Sale of Unregistered Securities?

As published in Bloomberg BNA’s Securities Regulation & Law Report, December 18, 2017 An initial coin offering (“ICO”) does not happen on its own. Rather, there are companies and individuals that assist in successful token sales. These can include ICO consultants, marketing firms, board members, partners at private equity and…

Read More

Israeli Regulators to Decide Regulatory Fate of ICOs in December

On August 30, 2017, the Israeli equivalent of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Israeli Security Authority (“ISA”) announced it had formed a committee to study whether, and how, to apply Israeli securities laws to initial coin offerings (“ICOs”).  Specifically, the ISA stated it would examine six issues related…

Read More

CFTC Reaffirms Stance on Digital Currencies; Expresses View on DLT and ICOs

Pursuant to its LabCFTC initiative, the regulator issued a FinTech Primer on virtual currencies, including addressing the jurisdictional reach of the CFTC and the SEC (and potential overlap). Several questions remain regarding the already uncertain status of ICOs under the federal securities and commodities laws and regulations. WHAT HAPPENED? On…

Read More

CFTC and the Bitcoin Give and Take

Recently, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) granted LedgerX, LLC, registration as a derivatives clearing organization (“DCO”) under the Commodity Exchange Act, and with it, the right to clear fully collateralized digital currency swaps, subject to applicable law.  It became the “first federally regulated Bitcoin options exchange and clearinghouse to list…

Read More

China bans and deems illegal the practice of raising funds through launches of token-based digital currencies

Various news sources, including Reuters, are reporting that the People’s Bank of China has issued a joint statement with other Chinese regulators proclaiming that ICOs in China are illegal.  See the Reuters article here: China hits booming cryptocurrency market with coin fundraising ban.  The statement further directs Individuals and organizations…

Read More

Recent Cases Demonstrate Need for Blockchain

A recent Delaware bill is poised to allow private Delaware corporations “use networks of electronic databases (examples of which are described currently as “distributed ledgers” or a “blockchain”) for the creation and maintenance of corporate records, including the corporation’s stock ledger.”  The bill is a significant step towards the mainstream…

Read More

State Regulation of Distributed Ledger Technology

  While the federal government has taken a variety of different positions in regulating distributed ledger technology, there are several important trends that are emerging in states’ regulation of such technology:   1) States are increasingly scrutinizing digital currencies. States are moving forward with regulating digital currencies, especially with respect…

Read More