For the past decade the crypto space has been described as the wild west. The crypto cowboys and cowgirls have innovated and moved the industry forward, despite some regulatory uncertainty. Innovation always leads regulatory clarity. There’s a new sheriff in crypto town – the US government and its various regulatory agencies. They seem intent on taming the wild west.
Continue Reading US Crypto Regulatory Enforcement Ramps Up – NFTs Now More in Focus

New York’s chief law enforcement agency recently squandered an opportunity to bring much needed guidance to the digital assets space.  On October 18, the Office of New York Attorney General Letitia James (“NYAG”) issued a press release warning New York businesses offering interest-bearing accounts to customers who deposit virtual currency with them without having registered under General Business Law § 352, et seq. (the “Martin Act”) that they are breaking the law.
Continue Reading NYAG’s Warning to Crypto Businesses Muddies Regulatory Waters

Tokenization

Tokenization limits the exposure of sensitive information and makes digital transactions more secure.  Whether people realize it or not, millions of Americans already use tokenization technology on a daily basis.  Recent developments in blockchain systems and decentralized finance create new uses for tokenization, raising legal questions as to how existing regulatory frameworks will apply or adapt.

Continue Reading Tokenization: Opportunity and Regulation, Finding a Balance

Last week, Coinbase Global Inc. (“Coinbase”) headed off confrontation with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) by announcing it was shelving a much ballyhooed digital asset lending product, Lend.  The announcement came two weeks after Coinbase revealed that it had received a Wells notice from the SEC warning the company of its plans to sue over Coinbase’s planned October Lend launch.
Continue Reading A September to Remember: Coinbase Avoids SEC Clash by Dropping Crypto Lend Product

The Office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James (“NYAG”) has filed a lawsuit to shut down technology company Coinseed.  The state has accused the firm of selling unregistered securities in the form of digital tokens and operating as an unregistered broker-dealer while making material misrepresentations about the company, its management team, and fees charged to investors in connection with cryptocurrency trades.
Continue Reading New York Attorney General Sues to Shutter Cryptocurrency Trading Firm Coinseed

FinCEN has issued a notice that it intends to amend the regulations implementing the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regarding reports of foreign financial accounts (FBAR) to include virtual currency as a type of reportable account under 31 CFR 1010.350. Currently, the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) regulations do not define a foreign account holding virtual currency as a type of reportable account. (See 31 CFR 1010.350(c)). As a result, the notice indicates that “at this time, a foreign account holding virtual currency is not reportable on the FBAR (unless it is a reportable account under 31 C.F.R. 1010.350 because it holds reportable assets besides virtual currency).”
Continue Reading FinCEN Announces Intention to Require FBAR Reporting of Crypto Currency

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

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

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