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The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently approved two applications from LedgerX – a platform for trading and clearing Bitcoin options – to become registered as a swap execution facility (SEF) and derivatives clearing organization (DCO). These approvals make LedgerX the first DCO and the second SEF approved to facilitate digital currency-related derivatives activity (another SEF, TeraExchange, lists cash-settled forward contracts on Bitcoin). LedgerX received temporary registration as a SEF nearly two years ago.…
On July 25, 2017, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued an investigative report stating that US securities laws apply to sales of securities in the United States purchased with virtual currencies or distributed with blockchain technology. At the same time, it issued an Investor Bulletin on so-called “Initial Coin Offerings” (ICOs) to caution potential investors about  such transactions. The Investigative Report focused on an organization called The DAO and the applicability of the…
A former futures trader recently agreed to a settlement order from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) imposing a permanent trading ban for spoofing and manipulation, and pled guilty to criminal charges of manipulation and wire fraud, for trading done in the precious metals market. David Liew was a trader on a major financial institution’s precious metals desk from December 2009 to February 2012 and, according to certain news reports, was based in…
On May 22, 2017, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) amended Part 165 of its regulations, which govern whistleblower incentives and protections. In addition to strengthening existing anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers, the amendments also prohibit employers from restricting employees from reporting potential violations of the Commodity Exchange Act directly to the CFTC. This prohibition extends to the enforcement or threatened enforcement of confidentiality agreements and pre-dispute arbitration agreements to prevent employee communication directly with the…
Following up on our inaugural session on November 2, the Norton Rose Fulbright New York office’s second 40-minute financial services briefing is set for this Thursday, December 1. Each month, Norton Rose Fulbright’s senior practitioners will provide interested in-house counsel and professionals with an insightful discussion on current regulatory trends within the financial services sector. The briefings will stick strictly to a 40-minute format, over a provided lunch, and begin at 12:00 PM sharp. The…
Based on a successful series started by the Norton Rose Fulbright London office, the Norton Rose Fulbright New York office is launching a series of financial services 40-minute briefings November 2. Each month, Norton Rose Fulbright’s senior practitioners will provide interested in-house counsel and professionals with an insightful discussion on current regulatory trends within the financial services sector. The briefings will stick strictly to a 40-minute format, over a provided lunch, and begin at 12:00…
Based on a successful series started by the Norton Rose Fulbright London office, the Norton Rose Fulbright New York office is launching a series of financial services 40-minute briefings November 2. Each month, Norton Rose Fulbright’s senior practitioners will provide interested in-house counsel and professionals with an insightful discussion on current regulatory trends within the financial services sector. The briefings will stick strictly to a 40-minute format, over a provided lunch, and begin at 12:00…
CFTC Chairman Massad today announced that he will recommend a one-year extension of the date on which the swap dealer de minimis threshold will drop from $8 billion to $3 billion.  Chairman Massad will recommend the Commission take this action through Commission order.  If adopted, the Commission order would permit market participants to calculate their swap dealing activity based on the lower de minimis threshold beginning on January 1, 2018, as opposed to January 1,…
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently finalized a regulation pursuant to Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act regarding the requirement for security-based swap data repositories (SBSDRs) to make security-based swap data available to other domestic and foreign regulators. Pursuant to the final regulation, SBSDRs must make available security-based swap data, including individual counterparty trade and position data, to several US financial regulators and the Federal Reserve banks, the US Department of Justice,…