Digital currency is an exciting, dynamic and growing technology changing the financial and legal landscapes. To keep pace, corporate counsel must stay abreast of new rules, new regulations, and new applications of blockchain technology. Recognizing this need, Digital Currency + Blockchain Perspectives chronicles industry news, including regulatory developments and other issues affecting our clients and the digital currency industry.

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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SEC Issues Warning Regarding Celebrity-Promoted Coin Offerings and Moves Swiftly Against Unregistered ICOs

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently issued two warnings about investments sold on the basis of celebrity endorsements, including one relating to initial coin offerings (ICOs), and followed up with enforcement actions against unregistered ICOs. Investors can be misled by biased promotions. Receipt of cash or other consideration in…

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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…

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SEC Issues Cease and Desist Order and Further Guidance on ICOs

On December 11, 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a cease-and-desist order to Munchee Inc. (Munchee), a company that was in the process of a $15 million initial coin offering (ICO), for selling unlicensed securities. The SEC found that the ICO targeted investors, with the expectation of…

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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…

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Goodwin's Fondo to Speak at MIT Club of Northern California Event on Blockchain + Cryptocurrency

Part of their “View From the Top” series, the MIT Club of Northern California will host a night of networking and an informative panel discussion titled “Blockchain, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and ICOs” on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at the Intercontinental San Francisco. Panel discussion topics include: what is a cryptocurrency and…

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