Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Affirms Authority of a National Bank to Provide Cryptocurrency Custody Services

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) recently signaled its approval for banks to fully wade into the cryptocurrency custodian space.  On in a July 22, 2020 interpretive letter, the OCC concluded that a national bank may provide cryptocurrency custody services on behalf of its customers, including by holding the unique cryptographic keys associated with cryptocurrency, so long as the institution is able to effectively manage the risks and complies with applicable law. Continue Reading

Fans Get Kick Out of FC Barcelona’s Crypto-based Fan Token

As another example of crypto tokens going mainstream, team Barcelona sold 1.2 million euro worth of fan tokens in less than two hours. The 600,000 tokens were sold at a fixed price of 2 euro, and are tradeable on Socios.com and Chiliz.net. The crypto tokens, called $BAR, provide fans various types of engagement with the team. Continue Reading

Is Esports Betting Sports Betting in Iowa?

Under Section 99E: a “Fantasy sports contest” includes any fantasy or simulated game or contest …” and 99E.2 states: “The system of entering an internet fantasy sports contest as provided by this chapter is legal when conducted by a licensed internet fantasy sports contest service provider as provided in this chapter.” Continue Reading

Google Partners with Theta Labs as Validator Node

As part of a multi-faceted deal, Google will become a validator node for Theta’s Mainnet 2.0. As part of the deal, Google Cloud will become Theta’s preferred cloud provider. Theta also plans to further collaborate with Google’s artificial intelligence, machine-learning and big-data initiatives. Another big draw for Theta is that Google owns YouTube. According to Theta, Youtube’s internally-developed technology for video delivery and streaming makes experimentation a lot easier. Continue Reading

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement – Paving the Way for a Cross-Border Fintech Sandbox

Key Takeaways

  1. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) provides for financial and digital trade regulations that harmonize the treatment of fintech companies.
  2. North American companies leveraging digital assets for payments should consider strategic regional opportunities available under the new USMCA fintech Framework.
  3. The USMCA Parties (member countries) continue to license fintech companies using cryptocurrency and create regulatory sandboxes to incentivize experimentation with the new technology under relaxed regulatory conditions.

Continue Reading

FinCEN Director Addresses COVID-19 Related Virtual Currency Issues at Consensus Blockchain Conference

On May 13, 2020, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) Director Kenneth Blanco delivered remarks to the Consensus Blockchain Conference regarding the agency’s recent observations in connection with virtual currencies, including the current risks of criminal exploitation of virtual currency, significant issues FinCEN anticipates for virtual currencies in the future, and the industry’s compliance with the Travel Rule. Continue Reading

Cryptocurrency Miners I“rate” At Energy Rate Decision

A Washington state federal court recently addressed claims relating to rates that cryptocurrency mining companies pay for electricity in Grant County, Washington. The court rejected all of the miner’s legal claims. The dispute focused on the rate classification that this utility applied to crypto miners as explained below.  Due to various risks, the electric utility assigned the miners to a newly created rate class referred to as “Evolving Industries,” resulting in a higher rate class for the miners.  The miners were I-“rate” with this decision. Continue Reading

Powered by Blockchain

A recent report indicates the use of blockchain technology in the energy sector is continuing to grow. According to the report, the global market for this use of blockchain technology is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 52.9% during the forecast period 2018-2026. One of the big drivers of this growth is that some of the biggest technology companies are investing in making this technology available for the energy sector. The payers include: Accenture, Oracle Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Deloitte, IBM Corportaion, Grid+, NOdalblock, SAP SE, Power Ledger Pty. Ltd. and Amazon Web Services, Inc., to name a few. Continue Reading

Open Source-ish! What Defines Open Source and Why it Really Matters in Investments and Acquisitions

The number of different open source licenses is growing and the variation in their terms and complexity is increasing. A number of licenses that appear to be, or are commonly referred to as “open source” do not actually meet the Open Source Initiative (OSI) definition of “open source.” Thus, they do not appear on the OSI list of approved open source licenses. We like to say that these licenses are open source-ish! The lack of standard definition of “open source” can lead to potential legal issues and business problems, particularly in connection with investments or acquisitions in companies that use software covered by such licenses. This is relevant to both companies that use open source software (OSS) and potential investors in or acquirors of those companies.

Continue Reading

Controversial New Open Source License for Decentralized Apps – Protects Users’ Data and Cryptographic Keys

A controversial new open source license designed for use with decentralized applications was recently approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). The Cryptographic Autonomy License (CAL) claims to be the first open source license specifically designed to protect end users’ rights and ownership of data and control of their cryptographic keys. Continue Reading

LexBlog