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
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a report on Regulatory Approaches to the Tokenisation of Assets (Jan. 2021). The report notes that: “Policy makers in different jurisdictions have approached tokenisation in different ways, either by applying existing financial regulations to tokenised assets; by introducing new tailor-made regulatory frameworks or by adapting existing rules to accommodate the application of DLTs in tokenisation.” Some of the key takeaways from the report are: Continue Reading
There are a number of uses of blockchain technology which may give rise to competition concerns. As a distributed ledger where transactions are recorded in real time and are accessible to everyone within that network, blockchain makes at least some transaction information accessible to users within the network. The available information can provide insights on highly sensitive commercial business transactions and/or strategies. Blockchains can also be seen as a decentralized model of data storage including payment transactions, purchase history, corporate accounts, pricing history as well as future changes to pricing. These characteristics can expose users of blockchain technology to competition law concerns, the most obvious of which are detailed in our whitepaper. Continue Reading
The use of blockchain technology by game companies is nascent but growing. As a transaction based-technology, blockchain is well suited to manage in game economies through tokenized game assets and the use of cryptocurrency for payment. This also provides a benefit to players in that they can truly own their assets, as opposed to just having a terminable license as is the case with most traditional online games. Blockchain and NFTs hold great promise. If your business gets involved with these technologies it is critical to get solid legal advice before you get too far down the road. Continue Reading
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
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
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
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 (USMCA) provides for financial and digital trade regulations that harmonize the treatment of fintech companies.
- North American companies leveraging digital assets for payments should consider strategic regional opportunities available under the new USMCA fintech Framework.
- 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.
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