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The Chain Gang – FTC’s New Blockchain Working Group May be Good News for Marketers

One of the greatest developments for marketers in 2018 is likely to be the proliferation of new and innovative applications on the blockchain in the context of marketing and promotion, particularly in connection with loyalty...more

4/10/2018  /  Bitcoin , Blockchain , Cryptocurrency , FTC , Popular

Massachusetts Enforces While Arizona Provides Flexibility to Fintech

This week, the Massachusetts Secretary of State ordered five companies, 18Moons, Across Platforms, Mattervest, Pink Ribbon, and Sparko, to cease and desist from engaging in initial coin offering (“ICO”) campaigns as part of...more

Blockchain Backed International Dispute Resolution

Startups often are at the forefront of creating unique solutions with the ability to have a tremendous impact on various industries. The Miami Blockchain Group, a legal technology startup, has created a novel blockchain...more

Berkeley to Use Blockchain for Tokenized Bonds

The City of Berkeley, California will be the first U.S. city to explore blockchain-based financing to tackle social issues such as affordable housing. Mayor Jesse Arreguin and Councilmember Ben Bartlett are collaborating...more

The End of the Cryptocurrency Carney-val?

In a speech given on Friday 2nd March, the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, said that cryptocurrencies are “failing” as a form of money. Mr.Carney also stated that cryptocurrency should fall under the “regulatory...more

Hong Kong Securities Commission Launches Inquiry Into Seven Crypto Exchanges

On February 9, 2018, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) released a statement which, among other things, informs the marketplace that the SFC sent letters to seven Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchanges...more

Securities Class Action Lawsuits Continue to Test the “Utility” Token Sale Model

On January 30, 2018, dissatisfied crypto token purchasers filed a class action lawsuit against Paragon Coin, Inc. (“Paragon”) and founders Jessica VerSteeg and Egor Lavrov, alleging that the Paragon initial coin offering...more

Bitcoin’s “Block size” Debate: Big Blockers v. Decentralists

In May 2017, a group of Bitcoin (BTC) developers and industry leaders laid out a plan to increase Bitcoin’s block size from 1MB to 2MB with an update dubbed “SegWit2X.” The block size increase would have enabled Bitcoin’s...more

SEC Scrutinizes Pumping of Blockchain-Related Securities

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is continuing to increase its scrutiny of companies that might be taking advantage of investor excitement for blockchain and cryptocurrency (ICO) deals to inflate their...more

CFTC Issues Proposed Interpretation on Retail Virtual Currency Transactions

“Virtual currencies,” such as bitcoin and ether, qualify as “commodities” under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”). The extent that such products are subject to regulation by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission...more

Piecing Together the SEC’s Framework for Evaluating Initial Coin Offerings

As capital continues to flood into initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency markets, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has sought to apply the existing securities laws and regulations to novel digital assets. In...more

At the End of Your Tether: Addressing, Responding to and Insuring Cryptocurrency Theft

On November 20-21, 2017, Tether, the company behind USDT – a digital token backed by fiat currencies like the dollar and euro – disclosed that a hack resulted in the loss of $30.95 million worth of tokens. Tether posted an...more

CFTC and SEC Chairs Seek to Apply Existing Laws and Regulations to Digital Assets

Nine years after Satoshi Nakamoto circulated his whitepaper and introduced the world to bitcoin, regulated bitcoin derivatives are about to be introduced in the United States. CME Group recently announced that it will begin...more

Celebrity ICO Endorsements: SEC, FTC, and CFTC Oversight

Floyd Mayweather, a world famous boxing champion, recently used his Twitter and Instagram accounts to help a company raise more than $30 million in an initial coin offering (“ICO”). Other celebrities have similarly...more

Abu Dhabi Financial Services Regulatory Authority Issues Guidance on Initial Coin Offerings

Earlier this month, the Financial Services Regulation Authority of the Abu Dhabi Global Market joined the ranks of various regulatory agencies from countries, including Australia, Canada, and the United States that have...more

SEC Files Complaint Against Trader Involving Bitcoin Conversion Scheme

On October 30, 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed a complaint in federal court against a day trader for allegedly committing fraud and market manipulation during which the trader utilized a...more

CFTC Releases Primer on Virtual Currencies

On October 17, 2017, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) LabCFTC released a primer on virtual currencies. The primer is an “education tool” that provides an overview of the virtual currency landscape and...more

SEC Investor Advisory Committee Considers Blockchain Technology and Securities Markets

On October 12, 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Committee (“SEC”) held an Investor Advisory Committee (“IAC”) meeting to consider, among other things, blockchain technology and the implications for securities markets....more

SEC Enforcement Action Involving Initial Coin Offering Muddies Jurisdictional Waters

Digital assets, popularly referred to as “cryptocurrencies,” “coins,” and “tokens,” continue to provoke regulatory attention and create discord among regulators. Recent actions by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission...more

SEC Creates New Units Focused On Cyber Crimes That Will Cover Crypto Tokens

Two months after its Investor Bulletin stating that U.S. securities laws may apply to digital token sales, the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced Monday two new initiatives to address cyber-based threats and...more

CFTC Brings Enforcement Action Involving a Fraudulent Bitcoin Robo-Trader

On September 21, 2017, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) filed a complaint in federal court in the Southern District of New York against Gelfman Blueprint, Inc. and its CEO and head trader (the...more

The FCA Offers Its Two Cents on Initial Coin Offerings

As mentioned in our client alert last week, regulators across the globe have been speaking out (and in some cases acting out) on initial coin offerings (ICOs). From the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the...more

Blockchain-Related Companies Facing Increased Scrutiny from the SEC

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

No Summer Vacation for Distributed Ledger Technology

As regulators across the globe turn their attention to distributed ledger technology (DLT), developments in this space have been in the news almost weekly this summer. In the past six weeks alone regulators in the United...more

Busy Summer for Distributed Ledger Technology

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and cryptocurrency have been a hot topic this summer. DLT has begun its transition from a proof-of-concept phase, to a real world deployment. ...more

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