Digital Currency + Blockchain Perspectives

The SEC, in one of the Commission’s final acts under the leadership of Chair Jay Clayton, approved enforcement action aimed at Ripple Labs, Inc. (“Ripple”) and two of its executives, Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen. The SEC filed its complaint on December 22, 2020 in the Southern District of New York, alleging that sales of XRP during a period ranging from 2013 through 2020 constitute an ongoing unregistered offering of securities in violation of Section…
Read our full Client Alert here. Christmas came early for many in the digital asset community by way of a statement from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on December 23, 2020 that grants relief in the area of broker “custody” of digital asset securities. The framework laid out by the SEC will operate somewhat like a hybrid no-action letter/safe harbor/pilot program, pursuant to which “special purpose” brokers may follow certain, specific steps and…
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton announced that December 23, 2020 would be his last day at the helm of the agency. This leads to the likely outcome that SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, or potentially Commissioner Elad Roisman, will serve as interim Chair until approximately January 20, 2021 when President-Elect Biden is sworn in as President. At that point, it is likely that SEC Commissioner Allison Lee will become acting Chair until…
In early November 2020, the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Division of Investment Management (“IM Division”), in consultation with the SEC’s “FinHub” staff, issued a statement in response to a No-Action Letter from the Wyoming Division of Banking purporting to provide interpretive guidance on both Wyoming and federal securities laws, including in the area of custody of digital assets. In sum, the SEC staff’s statement provides the following takeaways.  Unfortunately, these…
***This article was originally published in CoinDesk and can be found here – https://www.coindesk.com/bitmex-risks-for-defi  In October, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed enforcement actions against the entities and individuals that own and operate the Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange (BitMEX), a trading platform for cryptocurrency derivatives.  The CFTC alleges that since 2014 BitMEX has operated an unregistered trading platform and violated CFTC regulations by, among other things, failing to…
On Monday, November 16, 2020, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton announced his intention to depart from the agency by the end of 2020.  News of Clayton’s decision comes as no real surprise, as it is typical for the SEC Chair to hand the reigns to a successor around the time of an election for President.  What many had speculated about, however, was the eventual timing of Clayton’s move. The results of the November 3, 2020 election…
Please note, this is a summary to the article originally published in Fintech Futures. PayPal, which has 346 million customers and accounts for nearly 14% of online payments nationally, has announced that its U.S. customers will be able to buy, sell and hold a selection of cryptocurrencies via its digital wallet in the near future. Customers will be able to spend cryptocurrency via their PayPal wallet at all 26 million merchants. In 2021, PayPal…
Please note, this is a summary to the article originally published in Coindesk. Villanova’s engineering school is sending a private Ethereum blockchain into space on a Firefly Aerospace rocket (slated to launch November 20th) to test whether distributed ledger technology (DLT) can help satellites exchange data. The rocket will carry a satellite that will include Villanova’s private blockchain mounted on a small computer. There are currently almost 2,800 man-made satellites orbiting earth, which means…
Goodwin’s recent webinar explored why a fintech company might consider forming or acquiring a depository institution, detailed how depository institutions and their holding companies are regulated, and addressed considerations relevant for fintechs and their investors when considering potential depository institution charters. To watch the panel we held by our Banking and Fintech team, please click here.…
Please note, this is a summary to the article originally published in Coindesk. Big Four professional services firm KPMG announced a novel patent-pending blockchain solution intended to help organizations measure, report and offset their greenhouse gas emissions. According to a press release, the firm describes its Climate Accounting Infrastructure (CAI) as a transparent platform that offers companies a means to trace their emissions. The CAI is intended to complement an organization’s existing systems including…