News & Analysis as of

Securities

Cryptocurrencies: Are They Securities?

Cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, have been in the news a lot lately, but many people still don’t know what they are—or whether they’re regulated.  Here’s a quick rundown....more

UK Regulator Examines Scope of Securities Laws, Warns of Initial Coin Offering Risks

by Jones Day on

The Situation: The UK Financial Conduct Authority has released a statement on initial coin offerings. It focuses the circumstances in which an ICO might fall within the scope of the FCA's current regulatory boundaries as well...more

Equifax Data Breach: Preliminary Lessons for the Adoption and Implementation of Insider Trading Policies

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Insider trading allegations have surfaced at Equifax, a credit rating agency that last week announced a data breach that could potentially affect 143 million consumers in the United States, nearly half of the country’s...more

SEC to ICO Players: Our Game, Our Rules

On July 25, 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) published an investigative report (the “Report”) cautioning market participants that the offer and sale of digital assets such as “coins” or “tokens,”...more

SEC Focuses on Initial Coin Offerings: Tokens May Be Securities Under Federal Securities Laws

by Dechert LLP on

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently taken several actions to make clear that it is focused on and actively monitoring the rapidly growing market for so-called “token sales” or “initial coin...more

Every Day is Bitcoin Pizza Day: What Clients and Estate Planners Need to Know about Virtual Currency

by Murtha Cullina on

The combined value of all of the 867 crypto currencies tracked by CoinMarketCap.com is presently over $161 billion. Only seven years ago, on what is commemorated as “Bitcoin Pizza Day,” Bitcoin, then a new crypto currency,...more

The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong comments on ICOs

by DLA Piper on

The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (the SFC) has debunked the myths that no securities laws apply to ICOs. In its first direct statement on the subject, the SFC fired a warning shot at issuers and...more

SEC’s Phone Call to Protostarr Shuts Down its ICO

by Goodwin on

Protostarr, a block-chain based startup, has shut down its decentralized application and refunded its initial coin offering (ICO) participants following a request for information from the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

Coining it in: ICOs as the New Fundraising Paradigm?

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) involve issuers offering virtual coins or tokens that are created and disseminated using distributed ledger or blockchain technology. The capital raised from the offer will fund the development...more

Canadian Securities Administrators provide new guidance on cryptocurrency offerings and approve exemptive relief for Canadian ICO ...

by DLA Piper on

On August 24, 2017, Staff of the Canadian Securities Administrators (the “CSA”) released CSA Staff Notice 46-307 - Cryptocurrency Offerings1 (“Staff Notice 46-307”). Staff Notice 46-307 follows the report of the Securities...more

Debt Dialogue: August 2017 - Admitting an Inability to Pay Debts as They Become Due: What Does It Mean?

Among the litany of events of defaults often found in indentures and other credit documents is an issuer’s admission in writing of its inability to pay its debts as they come due. Like other insolvency events of default, this...more

SEC Securities Trading Suspension for Three Blockchain-Related Companies

by Reed Smith on

The spot market for digital tokens, which was once a “wild west” seemingly outside the scope of most federal regulations, is being integrated into the emerging Federal and State regulatory regime. In a period of just over two...more

Scienter In The News Again

by Allen Matkins on

In May, I wrote about Judge Gonzolo P. Curiel’s decision to grant the defendants’ motion to dismiss federal and state securities law claims in Mueller v. San Diego Entm’t Partners, LLC, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77643 (S.D. Cal....more

SEC Taking Action Against Cryptocurrency ICO Promoters

by Slim Ventures LLC on

The SEC has begun clamping down on Initial Coin Offerings of cryptocurrency investments, with promoters needlessly running afoul of the SEC. With over a billion dollars raised year-to-date (a five fold increase over all of...more

Canadian Securities Administrators Issue Staff Notice on Cryptocurrency Offerings

by Bennett Jones LLP on

Was there ever any doubt? On August 24, 2017, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) issued Staff Notice 46-307 – Cryptocurrency Offerings providing guidance on the applicability of Canadian securities laws to...more

Delaware Becomes the First State to Allow Corporations to Maintain Corporate Records Using Blockchain Technology

by Jones Day on

On August 1, 2017, Delaware became the first state to allow corporations to use blockchain technology to maintain corporate records. This development comes almost a year after Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster of the Delaware...more

A Limited Exception - California enacts new rules governing exemption for finders in securities transactions

The California Department of Business Oversight has enacted final rules to implement an exemption from broker-dealer registration licensing requirements in California for individuals acting as “finders” in securities...more

SEC Issues Guidance on Initial Coin Offerings and Digital Assets

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on July 25, 2017, issued a "Report of Investigation Pursuant to Section 21(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934: The DAO," weighing in on what are known as Initial Coin...more

Initial coin offerings – something new under the regulatory sun?

by DLA Piper on

FinTech Regulation - In our financial services updates at the beginning of the year (see here), we outlined a few regulatory pointers for FinTech coming out of a speech by the Chair of the Financial Stability Board (FSB)....more

An uncertain tax climate: An estate tax repeal might result in negative tax consequences for some families

It’s clear that tax reform is a high priority for the Trump administration and Republican leaders in Congress. In particular, the federal estate tax remains a prime target of some lawmakers. One possible scenario is that this...more

SEC's Investigative Report Raises Difficult Questions for ICO Issuers

by Jones Day on

Against the backdrop of recent growth of initial coin or token offerings ("ICOs"), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), on July 25, 2017, published its first public statements on this fundraising practice. The...more

SEC Issues Guidance on Regulation of Initial Coin Offerings

Over the last 12 months, a growing number of start-ups, primarily those offering blockchain-based services, have raised capital utilizing so-called initial coin offerings or token sales (collectively referred to herein as...more

SEC Report Determines DAO Tokens, A Digital Asset, Were Securities

by King & Spalding on

On July 25, 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released a Report of Investigation (“Report”) warning market participants that offers and sales of digital assets (“Tokens”) by “virtual” organizations...more

SEC Speaks on Initial Coin Offerings: Tokens May Be Securities

No blockchain phenomenon has garnered more attention lately than Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs"), which have exploded in value and raised more than $1.2 billion thus far this year....more

A Permit To Negotiate – Really?

by Allen Matkins on

It is sometimes forgotten that the California Corporate Securities Law of 1968 makes it unlawful to either offer or sell a security in California in an issuer transaction unless that the sale has been qualified or exempt from...more

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Cybersecurity

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