The Financial Services Committee seeks to bring order to an industry many say has suffered from lack of proper rulemaking.

By Stephen P. WinkNima H. Mohebbi, and Deric Behar

On January 12, 2023, incoming House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry established a new subcommittee on digital assets, financial technology, and inclusion. Rep. French Hill will chair the subcommittee, while Rep. Warren Davidson will serve as its vice-chair.

According to Rep. McHenry, the subcommittee will:

  • provide federal

While a conclusion to the much-hyped case may be approaching, market participants should be wary of doomsday prognostications.

By Stephen P. Wink, Douglas K. Yatter, John Sikora, Benjamin Naftalis, William Baker, Jack Barber, Natalie DeLave, and Deric Behar

As a new year begins, the digital assets industry is still enduring a deep and widespread crypto winter. When the story of this crypto winter is written, a chapter will likely be devoted to the

In granting the SEC’s motion for summary judgment, a federal court ruled that sales of LBC tokens were securities transactions.

By Stephen P. WinkDouglas 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 publishing firm LBRY, Inc. The US District Court for the District of New Hampshire (the Court) considered the

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 asset space is front of mind for key industry regulators. On October 24, 2022, SEC Chair Gary Gensler noted in a speech at

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 Plan) for fiscal years 2022–2026. The Plan focuses on three goals that, according to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, advance the SEC’s

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, to create a framework for digital assets, cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology. This first post in the series covers SEC and securities issues.

Securities issues are covered in Title III (Responsible Securities Innovation) of the Responsible Financial Innovation Act (RFIA). The RFIA would add a new Section 41 to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Securities Offerings Involving Certain Intangible Assets) that would provide much-needed statutory clarity on the allocation of regulatory jurisdiction over 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 Banking Committee and Kirsten Gillibrand from the Senate Agriculture Committee introduced legislation to create a framework for digital assets, cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology. The much-anticipated bipartisan bill, titled the Responsible Financial Innovation Act (RFIA), is the most ambitious digital asset bill yet put forward to Congress, and covers a broad range of topics. The legislation is designed to balance innovation and responsibility, and seeks to safely integrate digital assets into the existing regulatory fold through definitional and jurisdictional clarity.

The amended definition could provide a new means for the SEC to regulate crypto platforms.

By Stephen P. Wink, Marlon Q. Paz, Naim Culhaci, Ian Irlander, and Deric Behar

We previously published a blog post on the set of proposed amendments (Proposal) issued on January 26, 2022, by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding the regulation of alternative trading systems (ATSs) that would, among other things, substantially expand the activities covered by the definition of an “exchange” as interpreted by Rule 3b-16 under the Exchange Act to capture “Communication Protocol Systems”. Whereas we previously offered our general views on the proposed expansion of definitions and resulting potential impact on the securities industry, now we turn specifically to the potential impact of the Proposal on platforms trading digital assets.

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 trading systems (ATSs) that would, among other things, substantially expand the definition of an “exchange” as interpreted by Rule 3b-16 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Exchange Act) to capture “Communication Protocol Systems.” Specifically, Rule 3b-16’s interpretation of the “exchange” definition would be broadened in several meaningful aspects, including by removing the current requirement that a platform needs to bring together “firm orders” to be deemed an “exchange.”

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 protocol-driven decentralized finance (DeFi).[3] The case popped up in recent speeches by senior Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officials, including congressional testimony of SEC Chair Gary Gensler,[4] and featured in one of the SEC’s latest moves in crypto enforcement — an August 2021 action against a company called DeFi Money Market (DMM).[5] These developments raise several important questions. What is the relevance and application of the Reves four-factor test? How does it apply (or not apply) to Web3 generally and DeFi specifically? Most importantly, does it give the SEC broad authority to regulate DeFi?