Global Fintech & Digital Assets Blog

Tag Archives: blockchain

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

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

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

Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission Issues Statement on NFTs

The SFC issued a statement to clarify its regulatory approach in relation to non-fungible tokens and remind investors of related risks. By Simon Hawkins, Farhana Sharmeen, Adrian Fong, Gen Huong Tan and Shirley Wong On 6 June 2022, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a statement drawing attention to the risks associated … 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

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

The Limits of Applying Reves v. Ernst & Young to DeFi and the Perils of Regulating Web3 by Enforcement

The SEC’s reliance on a nebulous US Supreme Court decision raises important questions for the future of decentralized finance. By Benjamin Naftalis, Douglas K. Yatter, and Peter E. Davis Reves v. Ernst & Young,[1] a 30-year-old US Supreme Court decision on farmers’ co-ops, is garnering attention in the Web3[2] world, specifically in the context of … 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

NFTs and the Right of Publicity: Assessing the Legal Risks

NFT creators should craft strategies to avoid minting or auctioning NFTs that use the likeness of an individual without their consent. By Ghaith Mahmood, Nima H. Mohebbi, and Tara McCortney As non-fungible tokens (NFTs) increase in popularity, the so-called common law “right of publicity” may create additional legal risks for NFT minters. The common law … Continue Reading

NFTs 101: The Basics of Non-Fungible Tokens, and Beyond

Learn about 2021’s defining cryptoasset in a new infographic video and webcast, the latest in a Latham series covering NFTs. By Christian F. McDermott Latham & Watkins Technology Transactions Partner Christian McDermott introduces the basics of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in this short infographic video. In particular, he addresses the following questions: What are NFTs? How … 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

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations Find a Home in Wyoming

The State of Wyoming is solidifying its position as the friendliest state in the US for digital asset innovation. By Miles P. Jennings, Stephen P. Wink, and Deric Behar Although comprehensive digital asset regulation at the federal level remains elusive, US states are angling to establish themselves as blockchain and crypto-friendly jurisdictions. At the forefront … Continue Reading

NFTs: A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding the Hottest Crypto Craze

An NFT is a special, one-of-a-kind digital asset that raises a number of novel legal questions. By Christian F. McDermott and Calum Docherty Earlier this month, a blockchain firm bought a US$95,000 print by the British street artist Banksy, only to burn it in a livestreamed video and re-sell it for US$380,000 as a virtual … Continue Reading

Creative Crypto: IP Implications of Selling Creative Works Tied to Non-Fungible Tokens

As the market heats up for art-related NFTs, buyers should be aware of limitations on their rights to use those works. By Ghaith Mahmood, Jordan Naftalis, and Veronica Ye The convergence of blockchain technology and creative intellectual property (IP) through a non-fungible token (NFT) is having a mainstream moment. Media stories abound with reports of … 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

Settlement of Digital Asset Trading Just Got Easier

SEC relief streamlines noncustodial settlement of digital asset trades, but broker-dealer custody is still off-limits. By Stephen P. Wink, Naim Culhaci, and Deric Behar On September 25, 2020, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a no-action letter (the Letter) granting more leeway to registered alternative trading systems (ATSs) that settle trades involving digital … Continue Reading

Webcast: Tokenization and Distributed Business Models ― Recent Case Studies and Legal Insights

Latham fintech partners explore tokenization and distributed business models with guest speakers from Energy Web Foundation, ConsenSys, and The LAO. Tokenization of assets, as well as the innovation of blockchain-based distributed business models, have the potential to unlock asset liquidity, create more efficient, trustless and transparent processes, and reshape systems and entire industries by minimizing … Continue Reading

Going Live: Vicarious Learning for Blockchain Deployment With the World Economic Forum

Latham Fintech partner Jenny Cieplak discussed consortium governance on a panel hosted by WEF at the Consensus: Distributed Conference. Jenny Cieplak, a member of Latham & Watkins’ Fintech Industry Group, recently discussed blockchain consortia governance issues as part of a panel hosted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) at the Consensus: Distributed conference. A replay … Continue Reading

World Economic Forum Launches First-of-Its-Kind Blockchain Deployment Toolkit

The resource aims to help businesses create more resilient supply chains and trusted data by responsibly deploying blockchain technology. By Stuart Davis, Fiona Maclean, Andrew Moyle, Jenny Cieplak, Mitch Rabinowitz and Masha Smith The World Economic Forum has launched a new, first-of-its-kind resource — Redesigning Trust: Blockchain Deployment Toolkit (Toolkit) — to help organizations responsibly … Continue Reading
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