Global Fintech & Digital Assets Blog

Tag Archives: cryptoassets

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

SEC Unveils Strategic Plan With Renewed Focus on Technology

The plan directs the agency to develop a robust regulatory framework to prevent market misconduct, as SEC officials’ public comments keep advancements in technology high on the agenda. By Marlon Q. Paz, Stephen P. Wink, Donald Thompson, and Deric Behar On August 25, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a draft Strategic Plan (the … Continue Reading

Webcast: Navigating the Impact of Counterparty Insolvency and Negative Market Conditions in the Crypto Space

Latham lawyers discuss the state of the crypto industry and the challenges for companies. Turbulent market conditions are presenting novel challenges for companies in the cryptocurrency space. What are the factors contributing to the downturn, the implications for companies, and the legal rights and remedies that companies may have? Restructuring & Special Situations Practice partners … 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

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

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

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

UK to Regulate Cryptoasset Promotions

HM Treasury has confirmed that it will bring certain unregulated cryptoassets within scope of the financial promotions regime. By Stuart Davis, Rob Moulton, and Charlotte Collins On 18 January 2022, the UK government confirmed its intention to bring the promotion of certain cryptoassets into scope of regulation. HM Treasury has been considering for some time … 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

New SEC Chairman Gives His First Speech on Crypto

Gary Gensler asserts the SEC’s broad powers over digital assets, and puts consumer protection at the forefront. By Stephen P. Wink, Adam Zuckerman, and Deric Behar On August 3, 2021, Gary Gensler, chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), gave a speech on the digital asset industry. The speech offered some indication of … 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

Hong Kong Confirms New Regulatory Licensing Regime for Virtual Asset Exchanges

The Hong Kong government has issued its widely anticipated consultation conclusions on a new framework to regulate virtual asset exchanges. By Simon Hawkins and Kenneth Y.F. Hui On 21 May 2021, the Hong Kong Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) issued its consultation conclusions (Conclusions) on the introduction of a new regulatory framework in Hong Kong … 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

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

A VCOIN for Your Thoughts: Ethereum-Based Token Wins SEC No-Action Relief

The no-action letter is the first to expressly permit token transfer off-platform to non-users and conversion to fiat currency by token holders. By Stephen P. Wink, Shaun Musuka, and Deric Behar As crypto prices surge, we find ourselves in the midst of another crypto wave. Given the unrelenting flow of news that accompanies such periods, … Continue Reading

Hong Kong Fintech Week 2020: SFC Announces New Crypto Regulatory Regime for Virtual Asset Exchanges

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission introduces new licensing regime to regulate previously unregulated markets and restates expectations regarding security token offerings. By Simon Hawkins, Kieran Donovan, and Kenneth Y.F. Hui The second day of Hong Kong Fintech Week again brought together regulators and market participants from across the fintech industry for a range of … 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

UK Government Proposes to Strengthen Protections Around Promotion of Financial Products and Cryptoassets

HM Treasury is planning significant changes to the financial promotion regime, including expanding its scope to certain cryptoassets, and amending the approval process for promotions of unauthorised firms. By Stuart Davis, Sam Maxson, and Anna Lewis-Martinez On 20 July 2020, HM Treasury published two consultation papers on a regulatory framework for approval of financial promotions … Continue Reading

Podcast: Breaking Down Crypto Derivatives

Latham derivatives and FinTech partner Yvette Valdez explores regulatory issues impacting cryptocurrency derivatives on the Fintech Beat podcast. By Yvette D. Valdez New York partner Yvette Valdez, a member of Latham & Watkins’ FinTech Industry Group, recently discussed timely issues at the intersection of cryptoassets and derivatives law on a new episode of Fintech Beat. … Continue Reading

Crypto Coming of Age: UK Regulation Hits Cryptoasset Business

New regulatory requirements, including registration and customer disclosure requirements, apply to regulated and unregulated persons carrying on relevant cryptoasset business. By Stuart Davis and Sam Maxson On 20 December 2019, the UK government published the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Regulations (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (the Amending Regulations). The Amending Regulations update the Money Laundering, Terrorist … Continue Reading
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