Global Fintech & Payments Blog

Category Archives: Digital

Subscribe to Digital RSS Feed

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

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

SEC Issues Guidance for Broker-Dealer Custody of Digital Assets

In a year-end change of course, the SEC identified the minimum steps that broker-dealers must take when acting as custodians of digital asset securities. By Stephen P. Wink, Naim Culhaci, Shaun Musuka, and Deric Behar On December 23, 2020, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff issued a statement (Custody of Digital Asset Securities … 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

Hong Kong Fintech Week 2020: 3 Key Policy Initiatives of the HKMA

The HKMA introduces a new data sharing initiative, reported on the central bank digital currency initiative, and outlined regtech plans.  By Simon Hawkins, Kieran Donovan, and Kenneth Y.F. Hui The fifth annual Hong Kong Fintech Week conference kicked off with speeches and panels from both Hong Kong and international regulatory representatives, in addition to key … Continue Reading

Latham Collaborates on Pioneering Paper for Outsourcing in Financial Services

New resource developed following increased regulatory focus on outsourcing. Latham & Watkins has partnered with the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) and law firms Matheson and BSP to develop: Outsourcing – Guidance on the Legal and Regulatory Framework, a pioneering resource examining the key European legislation, rules, and guidance for financial services firms … 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

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

Competition and Innovation in the UK’s New Payments Architecture

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 … 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

EIOPA Issues Final Guidelines on Outsourcing

The final guidelines create new obligations for insurers that will impact cloud outsourcing arrangements. By Fiona M. Maclean, Andrew C. Moyle, and Victoria Sander On 6 February 2020, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) published its final guidelines on outsourcing to cloud service providers (CSPs) (the Guidelines). The Guidelines have been finalised following … 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

Open Finance: The Next Frontier in Fintech?

Call for input: Industry needs to engage as the FCA moves forward on its transformative vision for open finance. By Stuart Davis and Brett Carr Imagine a world in which you could access your bank accounts, credit cards, mortgage, pensions, savings accounts and ISAs, brokerage account, home and car insurance, life insurance, and other financial … 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

Financial Institutions and the Cloud: How to Navigate an Evolving Regulatory Landscape

Insights from Latham’s flagship event: Managing the risk and promise of digitisation in financial services. By Fiona Maclean, Stuart Davis, and Alistair Wye In a bid to keep pace with rapid advances in cloud adoption across financial services, regulators have published a raft of new guidance in the past year. Most recently, the European Insurance … Continue Reading

Report on IT Failures in the UK Financial Services Sector

UK Treasury Committee report warns that the current level and frequency of disruption and consumer harm is unacceptable. By Carl Simon Fernandes, Nicola Higgs, Fiona M. Maclean, Christian F. McDermott, Rob Moulton, Andrew C. Moyle, Stuart Davis, and Charlotte Collins On 28 October 2019, the Treasury Committee published a report on IT failures in the financial services sector. The … 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

Trends in Outsourcing Regulation and Supervision in Financial Services

Insights from Latham’s flagship event: Managing the risk and promise of digitisation in financial services Authors: Andrew Moyle, Nicola Higgs, Christian McDermott, and Kirsty Watkins. The financial services industry is leading the way in outsourcing, with contract values in excess of US$10.7 billion in 2018, causing regulators to focus more than ever on the associated … 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

Readiness for PSD2: APIs Fall Short, but More Time for SCA

While the payments industry scrambles to meet new standards for APIs, the FCA grants an extension for SCA compliance. By Christian F. McDermott, Jagveen Tyndall, and Amy Smyth In an effort to evaluate the readiness of banks to comply with the revised EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2), Tink, a banking platform and data provider, has … Continue Reading

SCA: Storm Clouds Approaching?

Stripe-commissioned report projects that Europe’s online economy risks losing €57 billion when SCA goes into effect on 14 September. By Christian F. McDermott A recent report released by 451 Research and commissioned by Stripe, the online payment processing business, has found poor levels of readiness for the requirements of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). The report … Continue Reading
LexBlog