Shipping Firms Pilot Blockchain, New Crypto Payment Gateways and Products, Wyoming Announces Crypto Custody Rules

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Shipping Firms, DHS and Wine Merchants Participate in Blockchain Pilots

By: Simone O. Otenaike

Earlier this week, one of the United States’ largest multinational package delivery and supply chain management firms reportedly made the first blockchain-verified shipment of beef from the U.S. to Japan with the help of a leading agri-tech solutions firm. The two firms will reportedly continue to work together to deliver tracking and traceability technology that improves quality assurance for beef products being shipped internationally. The package delivery firm created a customized, integrated visibility tool that plugs into the agri-tech firm’s blockchain technology to offer live updates throughout the journey. The package delivery firm’s customs brokers also coordinated with health, food and safety regulators in both the U.S. and Japan to obtain all required certifications that promoted accurate customs compliance, timely clearance of goods, and reduced risk of delays or penalties. Late last week, another leading global package delivery firm announced plans to pilot a blockchain-based invoice system for one-off, noncontractual shipments. The pilot will be developed in conjunction with a leading global information technology firm.

According to recent reports, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working with a Canadian blockchain firm, Mavennet, to build a cross-border, blockchain-based platform for tracking and tracing oil. To build this platform, Mavennet will retrofit its existing oil tracking platforms and build a proof-of-concept demo for use by the Customs and Border Protection branch of DHS at the Canadian border. In other recent international news, a Singaporean firm reportedly launched its blockchain-based wine marketplace for consumers across the Asia-Pacific region. The marketplace allows customers to purchase premium wines using a secure, blockchain-based platform with digital tokens that trace the provenance, quality and authenticity of new and vintage wines, ultimately eliminating layers of intermediaries and improving efficiency. The firm’s wine marketplace is supported by a leading professional services firm’s blockchain platform.

For more information, please refer to the following links:

Crypto Payment Gateways Announced, Multimillion-Dollar Property Sold for Bitcoin

By: Joanna F. Wasick

Lolli, a company that lets online shoppers earn bitcoin in lieu of regular cash-back points, recently announced a new partnership with a major Chinese online commerce entity. Lolli users can now earn up to 5 percent bitcoin when shopping on the site. The announcement was made on Nov. 11 – Singles’ Day, a shopping holiday popular among young Chinese consumers.

According to a press release, a major European payments firm has signed a letter of intent with “Bitcoin Suisse, the oldest and largest crypto financial-services company in Switzerland … to offer cryptocurrency payment services to Swiss merchants and consumers both in-store and in web-shops.” In more news from Switzerland, Utrust, a Swiss-based cryptocurrency payment and services platform, announced this week that it was partnering with a United Kingdom-based online travel agency to enable its customers to purchase flights on several major airlines using cryptocurrency.

Earlier this week, Paxos Trust Company introduced Fiat Gateway, a product that allows its users to swap between dollars and stablecoins. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange (by trading volume), will be the first to integrate the product. Also this week, Blockchain Venture Capital Inc. (BVCI) launched CUSD, a U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin. The launch comes about four months after BVCI issued a Canadian dollar-backed stablecoin. In a final item of note, the Magnum Real Estate Group recently sold an 11,400-square-foot Manhattan condominium for $15.3 million in bitcoin. The buyer was reportedly a Taiwanese entity, and the transaction was described as a “seamless process.” Magnum reportedly sold two units in the same building last year for bitcoin, one worth $875,000 and the other worth $1.48 million.

For more information, please refer to the following links:

Developments in Cryptocurrency Custody Providers, Banks and New Product Offerings

By: Robert A. Musiala Jr.

This week Bakkt, which recently launched a platform for physically settled bitcoin futures contracts, announced the launch of Bakkt Warehouse, a qualified bitcoin custodian that is authorized to offer institutional bitcoin custody by the New York Department of Financial Services. In a related development, according to reports this week, the state of Wyoming has released new custody rules for state-chartered special purpose depository institutions (SPDIs) that will allow banks that qualify as SPDIs to act as custodians of “digital assets” under Wyoming law. And late last week, Silvergate Bank, one of the first U.S. banks to begin servicing the cryptocurrency industry, officially began selling shares on the New York Stock Exchange in an initial public offering.

More new cryptocurrency-related products were announced this week. A Chicago-based global derivatives marketplace announced that it intends to launch options on its bitcoin futures contracts in January 2020, subject to regulatory approval. According to reports, U.S.-based cryptocurrency wallet Abra is adding support for 60 new cryptocurrencies. In Europe, Switzerland’s largest stock exchange has reportedly listed an exchange-traded product that is based on the tezos cryptocurrency. Finally, according to reports this week, cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has announced plans to launch cryptocurrency options products and a gold-backed stablecoin, Tether Gold.

For more information, please refer to the following links:

Enforcement Updates From US and Dutch Agencies

By: Joanna F. Wasick

Earlier this month, the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5), hosted The Challenge, an event bringing together investigators, cryptocurrency experts and data scientists, in order to find the world’s most egregious tax offenders. It was the second time the event was held, and this year’s focus was on cryptocurrency-facilitated crime. The J5 was established in mid-2018 by tax enforcement leaders from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, to combat cross-border money-laundering, tax crime and cybercrime. After the recent event, the criminal division of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reportedly stated that it identified “dozens” of potential cryptocurrency tax evaders.

Last week in New York, Hugh Brian Haney pleaded guilty to money laundering charges based on his attempt to launder about $19 million in bitcoin obtained from a drug trafficking operation that he ran on Silk Road, the infamous Dark Web marketplace. Haney is scheduled for sentencing in February; he faces a possible maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. This week in the Netherlands, Dutch police arrested the founder of Komodore64, a now-bankrupt blockchain game development company. The founder, whose name has not been confirmed, allegedly lied to investors in order to procure about $86 million in startup funds, and refused to make promised payments to vendors who were helping with the company’s launch.

For more information, please refer to the following links:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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JD Supra Privacy Policy

Updated: May 25, 2018:

JD Supra is a legal publishing service that connects experts and their content with broader audiences of professionals, journalists and associations.

This Privacy Policy describes how JD Supra, LLC ("JD Supra" or "we," "us," or "our") collects, uses and shares personal data collected from visitors to our website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") who view only publicly-available content as well as subscribers to our services (such as our email digests or author tools)(our "Services"). By using our Website and registering for one of our Services, you are agreeing to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

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Your interactions with our Website and Services: As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically. This information includes IP addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data. We use this information to analyze trends, to administer the Website and our Services, to improve the content and performance of our Website and Services, and to track users' movements around the site. We may also link this automatically-collected data to personal information, for example, to inform authors about who has read their articles. Some of this data is collected through information sent by your web browser. We also use cookies and other tracking technologies to collect this information. To learn more about cookies and other tracking technologies that JD Supra may use on our Website and Services please see our "Cookies Guide" page.

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We use the information and data we collect principally in order to provide our Website and Services. More specifically, we may use your personal information to:

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How We Protect Your Information

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Links to Other Websites

Our Website and Services may contain links to other websites. The operators of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using our Website or Services and click a link to another site, you will leave our Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We are not responsible for the data collection and use practices of such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of our Website and Services and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

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You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

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  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com. We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

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There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

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JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

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Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit http://www.aboutcookies.org which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

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