Global Fintech & Payments Blog

Bank of England Selected to Host New Innovation Hub Centre

Posted in Investing in Fintech

Bank for International Settlements selects Bank of England as UK centre to host new fintech hub.

By Stuart Davis, Brett Carr, and Sam Maxson

On 30 June 2020, the Bank of England announced that it had been selected to host a centre of the Bank for International Settlements’ Innovation Hub. The UK centre will support the global central banking and finance community through the development of digital public goods. Continue Reading

Webcast: Stablecoins, CBDCs, and the Future of Payments

Posted in Blockchain

Latham fintech lawyers and key industry leaders explore the progress and potential of CBDCs, use cases for stablecoins, and the global regulatory landscape.

Many central banks around the world are currently considering central bank digital currency (CBDC). According to the Bank of International Settlements’ recent survey of 66 central banks, 80% of surveyed central banks are engaged in CBDC work in some capacity, whether that work is conceptual research, experimentation, or pilot projects, and over a third stated that it is “possible” they will issue a retail CBDC within one to six years. Additionally, stablecoins based on Ethereum have surged in use recently, which, along with other large and well-publicized stablecoin projects, has drawn the attention of regulators around the globe.

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European Parliament Calls for New EU Common Framework for Cryptoassets

Posted in Cryptoassets, Data Privacy, Cybersecurity, and AI, Digital

An ECON draft report on digital finance recommends legislative action in relation to cryptoassets and cyber resilience and a framework for digital onboarding.

By Stuart Davis, Sam Maxson, and Anna Lewis-Martinez

On 4 June 2020, the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) published a draft report setting out its recommendations to the European Commission on digital finance, including emerging risks in cryptoassets and regulatory and supervisory challenges in the area of financial services, institutions, and markets.

The aim of the draft report is to address the main areas that demand a pan-European regulatory response to digital finance. Three priority areas are highlighted for consideration for legislative action: cryptoassets, cyber resilience, and data. These areas are noted as key to the future development of digital finance in the EU. Continue Reading

Webcast: Tokenization and Distributed Business Models ― Recent Case Studies and Legal Insights

Posted in Blockchain

Latham fintech partners explore tokenization and distributed business models with guest speakers from Energy Web Foundation, ConsenSys, and The LAO.

Tokenization of assets, as well as the innovation of blockchain-based distributed business models, have the potential to unlock asset liquidity, create more efficient, trustless and transparent processes, and reshape systems and entire industries by minimizing or removing the role of intermediaries. What is the current state of projects leveraging these technologies, and what relevant legal issues are arising and should be top-of-mind?

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Going Live: Vicarious Learning for Blockchain Deployment With the World Economic Forum

Posted in Blockchain

Latham Fintech partner Jenny Cieplak discussed consortium governance on a panel hosted by WEF at the Consensus: Distributed Conference.

Jenny Cieplak, a member of Latham & Watkins’ Fintech Industry Group, recently discussed blockchain consortia governance issues as part of a panel hosted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) at the Consensus: Distributed conference. A replay of the panel discussion is available on the Consensus: Distributed website, and the segment focused on consortia governance starts at minute 59.

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Singapore: Payment Token Derivatives – to Offer or Not to Offer?

Posted in Blockchain, Cryptoassets, Payments

MAS confirms regulatory approach for derivative contracts on payment tokens.

By Farhana Sharmeen and Marc Jia Renn Tan

On 15 May 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (the MAS) issued its response to feedback about its proposed regulatory approach for derivative contracts that reference payment tokens as underlying assets (Payment Token Derivatives), confirming that it will regulate Payment Token Derivatives offered to Singapore investors through approved exchanges. (See MAS’ current list of approved exchanges.) The MAS considers it crucial that it has effective oversight of products offered on approved exchanges due to the systemic importance of such trading facilities and the risk of contagion to the wider financial system. Continue Reading

FSB Launches Consultation on Global Stablecoins

Posted in Blockchain, Cryptoassets, Digital, Payments

The report encourages the G20 to consider a broad set of supervisory principles when evaluating global stablecoin arrangements.

By Todd Beauchamp, Stuart Davis, Christian F. McDermott, Yvette D. Valdez, Stephen P. Wink, Simon Hawkins, and Deric Behar

On April 14, 2020, the G20’s Financial Stability Board (FSB) published a consultation on the regulation, supervision, and oversight of privately issued global stablecoins (Addressing the Regulatory, Supervisory and Oversight Challenges Raised by “Global Stablecoin” Arrangements). The consultation includes 10 high-level recommendations that promote a multilateral approach to oversight defined by flexibility, consistency, coordination, and information-sharing between jurisdictions to keep apace of the changing nature of the risks posed by global stablecoins. While acknowledging the potential financial service benefits of global stablecoins, the FSB highlights some of the downstream impacts global stablecoins may have on national economies, across borders, and on the global financial system. Continue Reading

World Economic Forum Launches First-of-Its-Kind Blockchain Deployment Toolkit

Posted in Blockchain, Data Privacy, Cybersecurity, and AI

The resource aims to help businesses create more resilient supply chains and trusted data by responsibly deploying blockchain technology.

By Stuart Davis, Fiona Maclean, Andrew Moyle, Jenny Cieplak, Mitch Rabinowitz and Masha Smith

The World Economic Forum has launched a new, first-of-its-kind resource — Redesigning Trust: Blockchain Deployment Toolkit (Toolkit) — to help organizations responsibly develop and deploy blockchain technology based on their business needs. The resource aims to address the need for more resilience, trust, and efficiency in global supply chains.

The Toolkit reflects the ongoing efforts of numerous experts at the intersection of law and technology to document blockchain deployment best practices. It contains 14 modules addressing key topics, considerations, and challenges implicated in blockchain deployments. Latham lawyers both drafted and contributed to sections on Consortium Governance, Data Protection, Personal Data Handling, and Legal and Regulatory Compliance. Continue Reading

Telegram: Court Halts Grams Delivery

Posted in Blockchain, Cryptoassets, Investing in Fintech

SEC’s motion for a preliminary injunction is granted, prohibiting delivery of Telegram tokens to purchasers.

By Stephen P. Wink, Shaun MusukaCarolina Bernal and Deric Behar

On March 24, the Court in the Southern District of New York sided with the SEC and granted an injunction prohibiting Telegram Group Inc. and TON Issuer Inc. (together, Telegram) from delivering Telegram’s digital token, “Grams,” to 175 entities and high-net-worth individuals (Initial Purchasers).

As we previously discussed after the SEC filed its complaint, Telegram entered into agreements with the Initial Purchasers (Gram Interest Agreements), where, in exchange for US$1.7 billion from the Initial Purchasers, Telegram provided a promise to deliver Grams to the Initial Purchasers upon the launch of its blockchain (TON Blockchain).

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Competition and Innovation in the UK’s New Payments Architecture

Posted in Digital, Investing in Fintech, Payments

Call for input: market players need to engage with the process for the procurement of the NPA

By Stuart Davis, David Little, Christian McDermott, Brett Carr, and Nathan Wilkins

This Call for Input is part of the development of the Payment Systems Regulator’s (PSR) policy for the future regulation of the newly procured New Payments Architecture (NPA). The PSR is asking for stakeholders’ views about possible competition issues so that it can provide greater clarity about the nature of regulation that might be applied to the NPA. The deadline for input is 24 March 2020.

The NPA will be the payment industry’s new way of organising the clearing and settlement of most of the UK’s domestic interbank payments, including payments that currently use the Bacs and Faster Payments systems.

The PSR plans to set out its regulatory policy in a consultation, and then publish its final policy statement by the end of 2020 (coordinating with Pay.UK’s NPA central infrastructure services (CIS) procurement timetable).

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