Global Fintech & Payments Blog

Tag Archives: blockchain

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

NFTs and the Right of Publicity: Assessing the Legal Risks

NFT creators should craft strategies to avoid minting or auctioning NFTs that use the likeness of an individual without their consent. By Ghaith Mahmood, Nima H. Mohebbi, and Tara McCortney As non-fungible tokens (NFTs) increase in popularity, the so-called common law “right of publicity” may create additional legal risks for NFT minters. The common law … Continue Reading

NFTs 101: The Basics of Non-Fungible Tokens, and Beyond

Learn about 2021’s defining cryptoasset in a new infographic video and webcast, the latest in a Latham series covering NFTs. By Christian F. McDermott Latham & Watkins Technology Transactions Partner Christian McDermott introduces the basics of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in this short infographic video. In particular, he addresses the following questions: What are NFTs? How … 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

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations Find a Home in Wyoming

The State of Wyoming is solidifying its position as the friendliest state in the US for digital asset innovation. By Miles P. Jennings, Stephen P. Wink, and Deric Behar Although comprehensive digital asset regulation at the federal level remains elusive, US states are angling to establish themselves as blockchain and crypto-friendly jurisdictions. At the forefront … Continue Reading

NFTs: A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding the Hottest Crypto Craze

An NFT is a special, one-of-a-kind digital asset that raises a number of novel legal questions. By Christian F. McDermott and Calum Docherty Earlier this month, a blockchain firm bought a US$95,000 print by the British street artist Banksy, only to burn it in a livestreamed video and re-sell it for US$380,000 as a virtual … Continue Reading

Creative Crypto: IP Implications of Selling Creative Works Tied to Non-Fungible Tokens

As the market heats up for art-related NFTs, buyers should be aware of limitations on their rights to use those works. By Ghaith Mahmood, Jordan Naftalis, and Veronica Ye The convergence of blockchain technology and creative intellectual property (IP) through a non-fungible token (NFT) is having a mainstream moment. Media stories abound with reports of … 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

Settlement of Digital Asset Trading Just Got Easier

SEC relief streamlines noncustodial settlement of digital asset trades, but broker-dealer custody is still off-limits. By Stephen P. Wink, Naim Culhaci, and Deric Behar On September 25, 2020, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a no-action letter (the Letter) granting more leeway to registered alternative trading systems (ATSs) that settle trades involving digital … 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

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

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

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

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

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

What the SEC’s Lawsuit Against Kik Teaches Us About Token Presale Agreements

Latham & Watkins lawyers provide an in-depth look at recent issues impacting the use of token presale agreements. By Stephen P. Wink, Miles P. Jennings, and Shaun Musuka Token presale agreements are a popular type of financing instrument among startups in the blockchain space. In this article, originally published by Bloomberg Law, Latham & Watkins … Continue Reading

Abu Dhabi Global Market Issues Updated Comprehensive Guidance on Cryptoasset Framework

By Brian Meenagh, and Khaled Alhuneidi. In June 2018, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) unveiled a dedicated cryptoasset regulatory framework by way of various amendments to the FSRA’s core regulations – the Financial Services and Markets Regulation (FSMR) as well as supplementary guidance thereto. In May 2019, the FSRA … Continue Reading
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