Regulatory Action

CFTC Fines Bitfinex For Failing To Register and Operating An Illegal Exchange

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), showing continued regulatory interest in digital currency companies, issued an Order and settled charges against Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange Bitfinex. The CFTC found that Bitfinex was offering illegal off-exchange financed retail commodity transactions in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and failed to register…

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European Union: ESMA Blockchain Regulation

On June 2, 2016, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued a discussion paper seeking feedback from Fintech companies and financial institutions on the possible use of blockchain technology in securities markets, including the potential benefits, challenges and risks involved. The ESMA indicated that the responses will help it…

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CFTC Commissioner advocates minimal regulation of blockchain technology, letting private sector lead

On March 29, 2016, J. Christopher Giancarlo, the Commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, spoke at the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation 2016 Blockchain Symposium. His speech encouraged regulators to treat the development of blockchain technology like they treated the internet by adopting a “do no harm”…

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OFAC on Bitcoin—Learning Before Actively Regulating

Before a government agency issues regulations implementing a new law—or applies existing regulations to a new technology—it has to do some groundwork.  The agency will interpret its authorizing legislation and executive orders before gathering evidence to support the exercise of its rulemaking and enforcement authorities.  Some agencies are subject to…

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OFAC Announces Settlement with PayPal for Apparent Sanctions Violations

On March 25, 2015, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC) announced a settlement with electronic funds transfer giant PayPal, Inc. At issue were almost 500 transactions totaling approximately $44,000 in violation of various U.S. sanctions programs, including for Iran, Cuba, Sudan, proliferation of weapons of…

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