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.

SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce Worries Agency's Lag in Directing Token Industry Will Stifle Growth; FinCEN Issues Guidance on Virtual Currencies

On May 9, 2019, Commissioner Hester Peirce of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) expressed concern that the SEC is moving too slowly in providing meaningful guidance for the digital token industry. Commissioner Peirce acknowledged that the SEC has provided some direction to date by: (1) issuing the DAO…

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Consensus 2019: Check out Goodwin's Sponsored Session "Perspectives on SEC Engagement Concerning Digital Assets"

Goodwin will be out in full force at Consensus 2019 taking place next week in New York. We are sponsoring an informative all-female panel featuring Goodwin Partner Meghan Spillane and Counsel Tami Goldberg, as well as guest speakers from Coinbase and the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, discussing engaging with the…

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In the Matter of the Inquiry by Letitia James, Attorney General of the State of New York v. iFinex Inc., Case No. 450545/2019 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. filed Apr. 24, 2019)

On April 24, 2019, the New York Attorney General filed a petition in New York state court, alleging that Bitfinex (i.e., iFinex, Inc., BFXNA Inc., and BFXWW Inc.) and Tether (i.e., Tether Holdings Limited, Tether Operations Limited, Tether Limited, and Tether International Limited) hid a loss of more than US…

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Bittrex, Inc. License to Engage in Virtual Currency Business Activity

Bittrex, Inc. (“Bittrex”) is a US-based company that owns and operates one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Bittrex’s digital asset exchange platform allows approximately 1.67 million global users to trade over 200 cryptocurrencies. Bittrex offers two separate platforms, Bittrex and Bittrex International. The former is designed for use by…

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SEC’s TurnKey Jet No-Action Letter Indicates Baseline for Utility Tokens

On Apr. 3, 2019, the SEC Division of Corporation Finance (“Division”) issued a no-action letter  to TurnKey Jet, Inc. (“TKJ”) in response to TKJ’s incoming letter dated Apr. 2, 2019. At the same time, the Division released a paper entitled “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets” (see accompanying…

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The SEC Releases New “Framework” to Analyze Digital Assets under Securities Laws

On April 3, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released the “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets” (the “Framework”). The Framework—published by the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (“FinHub”) —is the most comprehensive guidance the SEC has provided to date with respect to a…

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On Motion for Reconsideration, SEC Granted Preliminary Injunction Against Cryptocurrency Exchange and its Founder for Acts of Alleged ICO Fraud

On February 14, 2019, the Southern District of California entered a preliminary injunction prohibiting Blockvest, LLC (“Blockvest”), a company set up to exchange cryptocurrencies, and its founder, Reginald Buddy Ringgold, III (“Ringgold”), from violating an anti-fraud provision of the federal securities laws. The decision came following the court’s initial denial…

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