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Category Archives: Cryptoassets

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From Safe Deposit Boxes to Cold Wallets, Bank Custody Evolves

The OCC greenlights bank custody of cryptoassets, opening a significant door to mainstream adoption and innovation. By Alan W. Avery, Todd Beauchamp, Yvette D. Valdez, Pia Naib, Loyal T. Horsley, Charles Weinstein, and Deric Behar On July 22, 2020, the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued Interpretive Letter #1170 (the Letter), … Continue Reading

What the CFTC Interpretation of “Actual Delivery” Means for Crypto

The long-awaited guidance clarifies the application of the “actual delivery” exception to leveraged virtual currency transactions with retail purchasers. By Yvette D. Valdez, J. Ashley Weeks, and Deric Behar Earlier this year, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved final interpretive guidance (Guidance) concerning retail commodity transactions involving certain digital assets. The Guidance clarifies … Continue Reading

UK Government Proposes to Strengthen Protections Around Promotion of Financial Products and Cryptoassets

HM Treasury is planning significant changes to the financial promotion regime, including expanding its scope to certain cryptoassets, and amending the approval process for promotions of unauthorised firms. By Stuart Davis, Sam Maxson, and Anna Lewis-Martinez On 20 July 2020, HM Treasury published two consultation papers on a regulatory framework for approval of financial promotions … 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

European Parliament Calls for New EU Common Framework for Cryptoassets

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 … 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

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

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

A CFTC Helping Hand: DSIO Offers to Review Digital Asset Products

Product innovation (including in pooled investment vehicles) is encouraged, but innovation must be consistent with the law. By Yvette D. Valdez, Douglas K. Yatter, J. Ashley Weeks, and Deric Behar The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC’s) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) Director Joshua B. Sterling issued a statement on February 10, … Continue Reading

Podcast: Breaking Down Crypto Derivatives

Latham derivatives and FinTech partner Yvette Valdez explores regulatory issues impacting cryptocurrency derivatives on the Fintech Beat podcast. By Yvette D. Valdez New York partner Yvette Valdez, a member of Latham & Watkins’ FinTech Industry Group, recently discussed timely issues at the intersection of cryptoassets and derivatives law on a new episode of Fintech Beat. … Continue Reading

Taking the Scarlet Out of the Letters I-C-O

SEC Commissioner Peirce has proposed a three-year safe harbor for qualifying token projects, but regulatory clarity remains elusive. By Stephen P. Wink, Carolina Bernal, Shaun Musuka, and Deric Behar SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has been a perennial advocate of innovation in the financial services and digital asset space. Continuing that tradition, she unveiled a Token … Continue Reading

World Economic Forum Launches CBDC Policy-Maker Toolkit

CBDCs will have a profound effect on the financial markets, and policy-makers must thoroughly consider the complex legal and regulatory issues. By Stuart Davis, Andrew Moyle, and Simon Hawkins Latham & Watkins lawyers are pleased to have contributed to the World Economic Forum’s CBDC Policy-Maker Toolkit. This resource is designed to provide a high-level decision … Continue Reading

Digital Asset Regulation: Howey Evolves & The Pursuit of Sufficient Decentralization

In two recent articles, Latham & Watkins lawyers examine the SEC’s guidance on the application of securities regulations to digital assets and the questions that remain unanswered. By Stephen P. Wink, Witold Balaban, John J. Sikora, Miles P. Jennings, Emanuel V. Francone, Cameron R. Kates, and Shaun Musuka Digital Asset Regulation: Howey Evolves In this … Continue Reading

Crypto Coming of Age: UK Regulation Hits Cryptoasset Business

New regulatory requirements, including registration and customer disclosure requirements, apply to regulated and unregulated persons carrying on relevant cryptoasset business. By Stuart Davis and Sam Maxson On 20 December 2019, the UK government published the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Regulations (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (the Amending Regulations). The Amending Regulations update the Money Laundering, Terrorist … Continue Reading

A Tipping Point for the Regulation of Cryptoassets in the EU?

The EC consults on existing cryptoasset regulatory framework and considers a separate EU framework for cryptoassets outside the current scope.  By Stuart Davis On 19 December 2019, the European Commission (EC) launched a public consultation to review the suitability and effectiveness of the current EU regulatory framework applicable to cryptoassets. The consultation will examine cryptoassets … 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

Hong Kong FinTech Week: Day 1 in Review

SFC outlines new regulatory framework for virtual asset trading platforms, HKMA highlights recent FinTech initiatives, and PBOC discusses China’s forthcoming central bank digital currency. By Simon Hawkins and Kenneth Y.F. Hui The fourth annual Hong Kong FinTech Week conference kicked off with a major announcement from Mr. Ashley Alder, Chief Executive Officer of the Securities … 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

The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be: New Tax Guidance Issued for Cryptocurrencies

The IRS has published a Revenue Ruling and FAQs clarifying some long-standing virtual currency questions. By Brian C. McManus, Elena Romanova, Stephen P. Wink, Sam (Seung Hyun) Yang, and Deric Behar On October 9, 2019, the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued its first guidance on the tax treatment of cryptocurrencies in at least five … Continue Reading
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