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Category Archives: Cryptoassets

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Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act Seeks to Empower CFTC

The latest bipartisan crypto bill would give the CFTC new tools and authorities to regulate digital commodities, with a focus on market integrity and consumer protection. By Yvette D. Valdez, Adam Fovent, and Deric Behar On August 3, 2022, a bipartisan group of US senators[1] introduced the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act of 2022 (the … Continue Reading

OFAC Sanctions Decentralized Virtual Currency Mixer

The US Treasury opens a Pandora’s box of legal issues as it targets a decentralized finance protocol used for both licit and illicit means. By Eric Volkman and Deric Behar On August 8, 2022, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions against decentralized virtual currency “mixer” Tornado Cash (and … Continue Reading

The UCC Gets a Digital Asset Refresh

A new Article 12 and amendments to Article 9 regarding “controllable electronic records” would govern transactions and security interests in digital assets. By Lawrence Safran and Deric Behar On July 13, 2022, the Uniform Law Commission (in partnership with the American Law Institute) approved amendments intended to modernize the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). The amendments … 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 — Taxation

The RFIA could ease tax compliance burdens for parties transacting in digital assets and defer or eliminate tax on some transactions.  By Jiyeon Lee-Lim, Elena Romanova, Ted Gkoo, and Jacob Nagelberg 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

Hong Kong Formalises Legal Framework to Regulate Virtual Asset Exchanges

Hong Kong’s licensing regime for virtual asset service providers to take effect in March 2023. By Simon Hawkins, Adrian Fong, and Shirley Wong On 24 June 2022, the Hong Kong government gazetted the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Bill 2022 (Amendment Bill). The Amendment Bill proposes changes to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing … Continue Reading

Webcast: Insurtech Insights

Latham lawyers explore the latest insurtech trends and regulatory developments impacting the sector in Europe and Asia. Disruptive technology is revolutionizing insurance, enabling insurers to achieve growth by leveraging big data and creating innovative solutions to enhance customers’ digital experience. We are pleased to launch Insurtech Insights, a series of webcasts to discuss the most … 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

Responsible Financial Innovation Act Offers Clarity, Safeguards for Digital Assets — SEC and Securities

The RFIA would enact a rebuttable presumption that an ancillary asset in connection with an investment contract is a commodity. By Marlon Q. Paz, Stephen P. Wink, Jenny Cieplak, 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, … Continue Reading

Responsible Financial Innovation Act Offers Clarity, Safeguards for Digital Assets

The RFIA is the most wide-ranging crypto bill yet. 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, cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology.  On June 10, 2022, US Senators Cynthia Lummis from the Senate … Continue Reading

UK High Court Rules on Liability of Bitcoin Software Developers

The Court held that software developers do not owe a duty of care to bitcoin owners who lost their private keys. By Christian F. McDermott, Andrew C. Moyle, and Nara Yoo In Tulip Trading Ltd (TTL) v. Bitcoin Association for BSV and others, TTL claimed that personal computers of its CEO, Dr. Craig Wright, were … Continue Reading

FRB Again Highlights Risks in the Stablecoin Sector

Treasury officials believe congressional action is “highly appropriate” this year to address the risks that the latest financial stability report underscores. By Alan W. Avery, Pia Naib, and Deric Behar On May 9, 2022, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB) published its semi-annual Financial Stability Report (Report). The Report, which covers … 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

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations: Piercing the Digital Veil

A complaint filed in federal court will test the boundaries of protection from liability for individuals behind decentralized autonomous organizations. By Stephen P. Wink, Nima H. Mohebbi, Adam Zuckerman, and Deric Behar On May 2, 2022, a putative class action was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of California against the bZx protocol … Continue Reading

Rising Regulation of Fintech Innovation — Implications for PE Investments

Assertive regulators are bringing greater clarity and new challenges as they step up oversight of fintech innovation. By Stuart Davis, Tom D. Evans, Nicola Higgs, Christian F. McDermott, David J. Walker, Brett Carr, Catherine Campbell, and Charlotte Collins As the fast-growing fintech industry thrives, the sector has begun to attract greater regulatory scrutiny. We expect new legal and regulatory focus and oversight of … Continue Reading

Digital Assets Could Revolutionize Global Remittances

The promise of faster and cheaper remittances may accelerate crypto adoption in many emerging markets, including those that have not historically utilized credit and debit payments, notably Latin America.  By Gianluca Bacchiocchi, Barrie VanBrackle, Nima H. Mohebbi, and Deric Behar One of the most promising benefits of digital assets is the ability to move value … Continue Reading

President Biden Issues Executive Order on Digital Assets

The order directs federal agencies to focus on six priority areas within the digital asset sector and potential development of a US CBDC. By Alan W. Avery, Yvette D. Valdez, Stephen P. Wink, Pia Naib, Adam Bruce Fovent, and Deric Behar On March 9, 2022, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development … Continue Reading

SEC Proposes to Expand the Definition of an “Exchange”

The proposal would require certain systems and platforms currently not subject to any registration requirements to register as broker-dealers and ATSs. By Stephen P. Wink, Marlon Q. Paz, Naim Culhaci, and Deric Behar On January 26, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a set of proposed amendments (Proposal) regarding the regulation of alternative … Continue Reading

Hong Kong’s New Crypto Regulatory Framework to Facilitate Greater Institutional Participation

Regulators released comprehensive guidance to banks, intermediaries, and insurers on virtual asset-related activities. By Simon Hawkins and Adrian Fong On 28 January 2022, Hong Kong’s principal financial services regulators issued much-anticipated guidance to banks, securities firms, and insurers looking to undertake activities related to virtual assets (VAs). In particular: The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) issued … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Takes Measured Approach to Central Bank Digital Currency

In a long-awaited paper, the FRB continues its exploratory approach and emphasizes the need for congressional support. By Alan W. Avery, Pia Naib, and Deric Behar On January 20, 2022, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB) published its long-awaited discussion paper (the Paper) on the potential benefits and risks of issuing … Continue Reading
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