Global Fintech & Payments Blog

Tag Archives: SEC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEC’s Crypto Summer Continues

SEC issues cease-and-desist orders for unregistered token presales and anti-touting violations. By Stephen P. Wink, Cameron R. Kates, Shaun Musuka, and Deric Behar Not content to let the dog days of summer slip by, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently issued two cease-and-desist orders relating to the offer, sale, and marketing of cryptocurrencies. … Continue Reading

Meet Me at the Arcade: SEC Provides No-Action Relief for Ethereum-Based Gaming Token

The SEC issues second no-action letter for a digital token, but will “utility” token offerings reach the next level? By Stephen P. Wink, Cameron R. Kates, Shaun Musuka, and Deric Behar Gamers, rejoice! In only its second no-action letter to date for digital tokens, the SEC cleared the way for Pocketful of Quarters, Inc. (PoQ) … Continue Reading

Can Broker-Dealers HODL? SEC and FINRA Say Keep It Noncustodial for Now

The regulators attempt to clarify their position on the possible custody of digital assets by broker-dealers, but questions remain. By Stephen P. Wink, Cameron R. Kates, Shaun Musuka, and Deric Behar The SEC and FINRA recently released a joint staff statement (Joint Statement) addressing the custody of digital asset securities by broker-dealers. For some time, … Continue Reading

US Digital Asset Bills: Will April Legislation Bring May Flowers?

Federal legislators introduce two bills in an attempt to provide the blockchain economy with regulatory certainty. By Stephen P. Wink, Morgan E. Brubaker, Cameron R. Kates, and Shaun Musuka US regulators and federal legislators may be heeding the calls of crypto-enthusiasts for legal clarity regarding the status of digital assets and cryptocurrencies (collectively, Tokens). Two … Continue Reading

New SEC Token Guidance: This Is Howey Do It

The SEC provides additional guidance for analyzing whether a digital asset is a security. By Stephen P. Wink, Cameron R. Kates, and Shaun Musuka On April 3, 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (the SEC) released a framework (the Framework) for assessing whether a blockchain-issued token or … Continue Reading

Are You My Regulator? ABA Surveys US Crypto Regulatory Overlap

A new white paper explores jurisdictional conflicts and the regulatory status of digital assets. By Yvette D. Valdez, J. Ashley Weeks, and Jacqueline M. Rugart Members of the American Bar Association’s (ABA’s) Derivatives and Futures Law Committee recently published a white paper exploring the US regulatory landscape for digital assets (White Paper), including a 50-state … Continue Reading
LexBlog