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Category Archives: Blockchain

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LBRY Ruling: A Nice Read for the SEC

In granting the SEC’s motion for summary judgment, a federal court ruled that sales of LBC tokens were securities transactions. By Stephen P. Wink, Douglas K. Yatter, Jack McNeily, Benjamin Naftalis, Adam Zuckerman, and Deric Behar On November 7, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) prevailed in a motion for summary judgment against blockchain-based streaming and … Continue Reading

The Law Commission of England and Wales Proposes to Classify NFTs as Data Objects

NFT creators and consumers should evaluate the legal and commercial considerations of NFTs that are linked to copyright work. By Andrew Moyle, Christian McDermott, and Avinash Balendran The Law Commission of England and Wales (the Commission) is a statutory independent body that keeps the law of England and Wales under review and recommends reform where … Continue Reading

Antitrust Matters: What Digital Asset Innovators Need to Know

Unpacking three key competition issues for digital asset innovators and investors: M&A, interlocking directorates, and interoperability. By Kelly Fayne, Anna Rathbun, and Evan Omi In a sea of regulatory hurdles and issues, antitrust and competition laws may be low on the list of concerns of digital asset innovators and investors. But competition in the digital … Continue Reading

The Book of Jargon® — Blockchain, Crypto & Web3 Now Available

Mobile and desktop reference tool defines nearly 600 industry terms. Latham & Watkins has published the second edition of The Book of Jargon® — Blockchain, Crypto & Web3, a comprehensive digital glossary developed for the business, academic, and legal communities. The resource renders the often complex vocabulary, acronyms, and slang of the blockchain, cryptocurrency, and … Continue Reading

Legal Implications of the Ethereum Merge and Potential Ethereum Proof-of-Work Fork

Ethereum’s transition to proof of stake presents opportunities and pitfalls for certain digital assets and tokens built on the network. By Jenny Cieplak, Ghaith Mahmood, Yvette D. Valdez, Stephen P. Wink, Adam Fovent, and Justin Tzeng After years of development, the Ethereum blockchain appears poised to make its much-anticipated transition from a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Issues Cryptoasset Engagement “Rules of the Road” for Its Supervised Banking Organizations

The Federal Reserve is taking measured steps to better understand the types of cryptoasset-related activities contemplated by its supervised banking organizations. By Alan W. Avery, Pia Naib, and Deric Behar On August 16, 2022, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB) issued a Supervision and Regulation Letter outlining its expectations for FRB-supervised … Continue Reading

Blockchain Networks Beginning to Allow Enforcement of Court Orders

Bitcoin Association for BSV will release software to facilitate court orders to freeze stolen or lost coins, while some courts recently authorised service proceedings by tokenised airdrop. By Christian F. McDermott, Andrew C. Moyle, and Nara Yoo Earlier this year, in Tulip Trading Ltd (TTL) v. Bitcoin Association for BSV (Bitcoin Association) and others, the … Continue Reading

UK’s “Smarter Contracts” Landscape Offers Robust Foundation for Commercial Use

The latest analysis of “smarter contracts” provides helpful guidance on the opportunities and potential legal and practical risks in adopting these technologies. By Christian F. McDermott, Andrew C. Moyle, and Nara Yoo LawtechUK’s latest analysis of so-called smarter contracts in the UK, set out in its Smarter Contracts Report (the Report), seeks to identify how … Continue Reading

BIS Issues Final Guidance on Stablecoin Regulation

The global central bank cooperative body would bring stablecoins within the international standards for payment, clearing, and settlement systems.  By Alan W. Avery, Stuart Davis, Simon Hawkins, Yvette D. Valdez, Stephen P. Wink, Pia Naib, and Deric Behar On July 13, 2022, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) … Continue Reading

Responsible Financial Innovation Act Offers Clarity, Safeguards for Digital Assets — Banking and Payment Stablecoins

The RFIA could make it easier for fintechs dealing in digital assets and stablecoins to access Federal Reserve bank services.  By Alan W. Avery, Pia Naib, and Deric Behar Latham & Watkins presents a blog series on the Responsible Financial Innovation Act, which was introduced in the US Senate on June 10, 2022, to create a framework for digital assets, … Continue Reading

Responsible Financial Innovation Act Offers Clarity, Safeguards for Digital Assets — CFTC and Commodities

The CFTC would take center stage in the regulation of spot digital asset markets under Title IV of the RFIA.  By Yvette D. Valdez, Adam Bruce Fovent, and Emily Viola Latham & Watkins presents a blog series on the Responsible Financial Innovation Act, which was introduced in the US Senate on June 10, 2022, to create a … Continue Reading

Responsible Financial Innovation Act Offers Clarity, Safeguards for Digital Assets — Consumer Protection and State Money Transmission Laws

The RFIA would define consumer protection standards for digital assets and introduce new requirements regarding digital asset use in interstate money transfers. By Jenny Cieplak, Parag Patel, Barrie VanBrackle, and Deric Behar Latham & Watkins presents a blog series on the Responsible Financial Innovation Act, which was introduced in the US Senate on June 10, 2022, to create … Continue Reading

California Executive Order Foreshadows Stronger Regulation of Digital Assets

The Executive Order aims to strengthen consumer protection and cultivate innovation in digital assets and related financial products and services. By Christopher D. Frey, Scott D. Joiner, Barrie VanBrackle, Katherine A. Sawyer, and Scott Kanchuger* On May 4, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order (California Order) calling upon California state agencies to … Continue Reading

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Consults on Stablecoin Regulation

The HKMA’s discussion paper seeks feedback on its proposed regulatory approach to stablecoins, with responses due by 31 March 2022. By Simon Hawkins and Adrian Fong On 12 January 2022, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Hong Kong’s principal regulator for banks and payment systems, published a discussion paper seeking the public’s views on its … Continue Reading

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

El Salvador Christens Bitcoin as Legal Tender

A sovereign nation’s decision to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender raises interesting questions — and legal ramifications. By Elena Romanova, Larry Safran, Yvette D. Valdez, Eric S. Volkman, Stephen P. Wink, Adam Bruce Fovent, and Deric Behar On June 8, 2021, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly voted to establish Bitcoin as unrestricted legal tender, making El … 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

NFTs: But Is It Art (or a Security)?

As the market for NFTs heats up, market participants should remain mindful of the regulatory implications of complex schemes. By Stephen P. Wink, Miles P. Jennings, Shaun Musuka, and Deric Behar As the current crypto boom has progressed, it seemed Decentralized Finance (DeFi) had cemented its position as the dominant new narrative of this cycle. … 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

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

Webcast: Stablecoins, CBDCs, and the Future of Payments

Latham fintech lawyers and key industry leaders explore the progress and potential of CBDCs, use cases for stablecoins, and the global regulatory landscape. Many central banks around the world are currently considering central bank digital currency (CBDC). According to the Bank of International Settlements’ recent survey of 66 central banks, 80% of surveyed central banks … Continue Reading
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