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Category Archives: Blockchain

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The Token Safe Harbor Lands on Capitol Hill

The Clarity for Digital Tokens Act of 2021 would give token issuers the guardrails they need to innovate with far less regulatory anxiety. By Stephen P. Wink and Deric Behar US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce has always been something of a maverick. She has been a lone dissenting voice on the … Continue Reading

El Salvador Christens Bitcoin as Legal Tender

A sovereign nation’s decision to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender raises interesting questions — and legal ramifications. By Elena Romanova, Larry Safran, Yvette D. Valdez, Eric S. Volkman, Stephen P. Wink, Adam Bruce Fovent, and Deric Behar On June 8, 2021, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly voted to establish Bitcoin as unrestricted legal tender, making El … Continue Reading

The Return of the Token Safe Harbor

SEC Commissioner Peirce has revived and refreshed her proposed three-year safe harbor for qualifying token projects, but some unresolved ambiguities remain. By Miles P. Jennings, Stephen P. Wink, Naim Culhaci, and Deric Behar US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce, a longtime and vocal advocate for innovation in financial services, has not shied … Continue Reading

NFTs: But Is It Art (or a Security)?

As the market for NFTs heats up, market participants should remain mindful of the regulatory implications of complex schemes. By Stephen P. Wink, Miles P. Jennings, Shaun Musuka, and Deric Behar As the current crypto boom has progressed, it seemed Decentralized Finance (DeFi) had cemented its position as the dominant new narrative of this cycle. … Continue Reading

ISDA’s Legal Guidelines Herald a Smarter Future for Derivatives Contracts

In a new publication, ISDA explores the benefits of digitization and blockchain solutions for global foreign exchange derivatives markets. By Yvette D. Valdez, Adam Bruce Fovent, and Deric Behar As blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) use cases continue to grow across the broad spectrum of financial markets, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. … Continue Reading

Blockchain Is a Team Sport: Dispute Resolution Planning Is Key to Scaling Blockchain Solutions

A thorough dispute resolution model can help market participants navigate inevitable disputes in the blockchain network and minimize costly litigation.   By Jenny Cieplak Some of the biggest challenges in scaling blockchain solutions revolve around setting up an effective governance framework, particularly a component to manage the processes by which disputes among parties are properly … Continue Reading

DOJ’s Evolving Framework for Cryptocurrency Enforcement

US Department of Justice’s sprawling report reveals regulatory enforcement priorities for cryptocurrencies and highlights multi-agency cooperation. By Susan Engel, Miles Jennings, Benjamin Naftalis, Yvette Valdez, Eric Volkman, Stephen Wink, Douglas K. Yatter, and Deric Behar On October 8, 2020, the US Attorney General’s Cyber-Digital Task Force of the Department of Justice (DOJ) published an extensive … Continue Reading

A Map for the New World of Blockchain

A collaborative project led by the Global Blockchain Business Council represents an unprecedented effort to analyze the technical and regulatory blockchain landscape. By Stuart Davis, Axel Schiemann, Farhana Sharmeen, Simon Hawkins, Max von Cube, Kenneth Y.F. Hui, and Gen Huong Tan On October 14, 2020, the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) and the World Economic … Continue Reading

SEC Greenlights Investment Fund Delivered in Security Tokens

The milestone fund structure portends a reduced role for broker-dealers, who may be sidelined by innovators unwilling to wait for regulators. By Stephen P. Wink and Deric Behar On July 6, 2020, asset management firm Arca announced that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) granted it approval under the Investment Company Act of 1940 … Continue Reading

Webcast: Stablecoins, CBDCs, and the Future of Payments

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 … Continue Reading

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

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 … Continue Reading

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

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 … Continue Reading

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

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 … Continue Reading

FSB Launches Consultation on Global Stablecoins

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 … Continue Reading

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

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 … Continue Reading

Telegram: Court Halts Grams Delivery

SEC’s motion for a preliminary injunction is granted, prohibiting delivery of Telegram tokens to purchasers. By Stephen P. Wink, Shaun Musuka, Carolina 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 … Continue Reading

The SEC Greenlights a Blockchain Settlement Service for Public Shares

The US agency has used a no-action letter to enable a sandbox-like approach to blockchain-based trade settlements. By Stephen P. Wink, Cameron R. Kates, Shaun Musuka, and Deric Behar In what may be the first regulator-approved application of blockchain technology for the settlement of US equities trades, the Division of Trading and Markets of the … Continue Reading

The SEC Continues Its Enforcement Streak Against Unregistered Token Offerings

As the agency pursues and prevents offerings of tokens it deems unregistered securities, further issues emerge. By John J. Sikora Jr., Stephen P. Wink, Douglas K. Yatter, Cameron R. Kates, Shaun Musuka, and Deric Behar The recent wave of US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement actions relating to initial coin offerings (ICOs) continues with … Continue Reading

Podcast: Macro and Regulatory Developments Impacting Stablecoins

Latham FinTech partners discuss the evolving stablecoin landscape on the New Territories Podcast. By Christian F. McDermott, Yvette D. Valdez, and Stephen P. Wink New York partners Yvette Valdez and Stephen Wink and London partner Christian McDermott recently discussed the evolving stablecoin landscape on new episodes of The Brooklyn Project’s New Territories Podcast. The partners, … Continue Reading

The Yellow Brick Road for Consumer Tokens: The Path to SEC and CFTC Compliance (an Update)

Latham & Watkins provides an in-depth look at the intersection of CFTC and SEC regulatory jurisdiction in the crypto context. By David L. Concannon, Yvette D. Valdez, and Stephen P. Wink, with Paul M. Dudek and Miles P. Jennings With the rapid growth in the development of blockchain technology, virtual currencies, and token sales (sometimes … Continue Reading

The G7 Draws a Line in the Sand for Global Stablecoins

Global monetary authorities and financial regulators have responded forcefully to the advent of privately developed global stablecoins. By Todd Beauchamp, David L. Concannon, Stephen P. Wink, Simon Hawkins, Stuart Davis, and Deric Behar A new report highlights the risks of global stablecoins and enumerates the legal, regulatory, and oversight hurdles a global stablecoin must clear … Continue Reading

Harbor Finds Calmer FINRA Waters Outside the Custody Storm

In line with its previous guidance, FINRA has granted broker-dealer (but not custodian) status to a digital asset platform. By Stephen P. Wink, Cameron R. Kates, Shaun Musuka, and Deric Behar In a follow-up to the July 2019 SEC and FINRA joint staff statement (Joint Statement) clarifying the regulators’ position on the custody of digital … Continue Reading
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