Regulatory Action

A Second Federal Court Decides Virtual Currencies are Commodities Subject to Federal Regulation

On September 26, 2018, a federal judge in Massachusetts agreed with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) view that virtual currencies are commodities under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and subject to federal regulation.  See CFTC v. My Big Coin Pay, Inc., No. CV 18-10077-RWZ, 2018 WL 4621727 (D. Mass….

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OCC Announces it Will Accept Applications for Fintech Charter; Treasury Department Releases Fintech Report

The OCC announced on Tuesday, July 31, that it would begin accepting applications for special purpose national bank (SPNB) charters from FinTech companies engaged in the business of banking. The agency released a Policy Statement and a Supplement to its Licensing Manual addressing how it would consider applications from FinTech companies seeking to operate…

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DOJ Announces Establishment of Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud; SEC Chairman Highlights Actions Involving ICOs

Earlier today, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced that the President issued an executive order establishing a new Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud, comprised of a number of divisions of the Department of Justice (DOJ), including the FBI and various United States Attorney’s Offices as designated…

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State and Federal Regulators Coordinate Efforts to Combat Crypto Fraud

This past week was a busy one for state securities regulators, the CFTC and the SEC as they continue their focus on rooting out fraud from the digital currency space and crypto- and blockchain-based ventures.  Noteworthy developments included (1) the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) announcing a “cryptosweep” –…

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New York Department Of Financial Services Issues Crypto Guidance; Outlines Enhanced Reporting Requirements

On February 7, 2018, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NY DFS) issued guidance to all virtual currency businesses that maintain a “BitLicense” or that are chartered as a limited purpose trust company under New York Banking Law (collectively, VC Entities), including those that maintain a money transmitter…

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SEC Exams To Focus On ICOs And Cryptocurrency

On February 7, 2018, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) announced its 2018 Examination Priorities.  In what comes as no surprise, the exam priorities include initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency, stating the following: “The cryptocurrency and ICO markets have grown rapidly and present a number of…

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Yahoo! Finance All Markets Summit: Crypto, Featuring Grant Fondo

The 2018 iteration of Yahoo! Finance’s All Markets Summit, taking place on Tuesday, February 7, 2018, will focus solely on cryptocurrency. From Bitcoin and blockchain to ICOs, in conjunction with CoinDesk, Yahoo! Finance will lead a series of conversations with CEOs, engineers, policy makers and legal experts on the growing…

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ICOs in 2018: Increased Regulatory Scrutiny, and Alternatives to Traditional "Utility" Token ICOs

As originally published by Brave New Coin, January 19, 2018. As we transition from 2017 into 2018, there has been an increase in SEC and state regulator activity in the area of Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”), as the agencies seek to determine (i) whether certain ICOs constitute a sale of unregistered securities;…

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New Year Brings Flurry of Regulatory Statements and Warnings Directed at Cryptocurrencies and ICOs

On the same day that a meteorological blizzard slammed the Eastern Seaboard, U.S. financial regulators unleashed their own flurry of statements and warnings surrounding initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies.  Bundle up, because if the first week of the year is a prelude of things to come, then 2018 is…

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The Future of Bitcoin is Here (Literally): Crypto Derivatives Have Gone Mainstream!

Major derivatives market operators CBOE Holdings and CME Group have jumped into the digital currency fray within the last two weeks by launching cash-settled bitcoin futures contracts (1).  The exchanges recently cleared de facto regulatory hurdles when the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the completion of the exchanges’ “self-certification”…

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