Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest

Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest

Category Archives: Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies

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FSB Publishes Final Version of Cyber Lexicon

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies
On November 12, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published the final version of its cyber lexicon and an accompanying press release. The FSB’s cyber lexicon is a set of approximately 50 core terms related to cybersecurity and cyber resilience in the financial sector, but is not intended to be a comprehensive lexicon of all cybersecurity… Continue Reading

European Commission Publishes Statement on Regulating Cryptoassets and ICOs

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, EU Developments
On November 13, the European Commission (EC) published a statement by Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis on the regulation of cryptoassets and initial coin offerings (ICOs), which he presented at the European Parliament Plenary debate in Strasbourg. Key takeaways include:… Continue Reading

Cryptoassets Taskforce Publishes Final Report

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, UK Developments
On October 29, the UK “Cryptoasset Taskforce,” consisting of HM Treasury, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England, published its final report setting out the United Kingdom’s policy and regulatory approach to cryptoassets and distributed ledger technology (DLT) in financial services. The Cryptoassets Taskforce was established in March 2018 as part… Continue Reading

ESMA Publishes Stakeholder Group Advice on Containing Risks of ICOs and Crypto Assets

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, EU Developments
On October 19, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published an own-initiative report, produced by its Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group (SMSG), on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto assets. The report gives advice to ESMA on steps it can take to contain the risks of ICOs and crypto assets, on top of existing… Continue Reading

FCA Announces Launch of Green FinTech Challenge

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, UK Developments
On October 19, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a webpage announcing the launch of its “Green FinTech Challenge”, an initiative to support firms developing innovative products and services in the green, financial technology (FinTech) sector. The Challenge is open to start-ups, incumbents and technology providers. Firms developing broader ethical, environmental, social or governance… Continue Reading

CFTC Announces Technology Advisory Committee Meeting

Posted in CFTC, Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced that its Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) will hold a meeting on Friday, October 5. The meeting will be held in the Conference Center at the CFTC’s Washington, DC headquarters from 10:00 am – 3:30 pm ET. Representatives of several TAC subcommittees, including the Automated and Modern Trading… Continue Reading

UK Treasury Committee Calls for Regulation of Crypto-Assets

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, UK Developments
On September 19, the UK’s House of Commons Treasury Committee (Treasury Committee) published a report on its inquiry into crypto-assets, launched in February 2018. The report is an update of what was provided on its website in May 2018 (for further details, see the May 25, 2018 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest). Key… Continue Reading

ECON Publishes Draft Report on Proposed Regulation on European Crowdfunding Service Providers

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, EU Developments, Financial Markets
On August 10, the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) published its draft report on the European Commission’s March 2018 proposal for a regulation on European crowdfunding service providers (CSPs). The draft report contains a draft European Parliament legislative resolution, the text of which sets out suggested amendments to the European Commission’s proposal.… Continue Reading

NFA Announces the Effective Date of Disclosure Requirements for NFA Members Engaging in Virtual Currency Activities

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives, Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies
On August 9, the National Futures Association (NFA) announced the effective date of its recently adopted Interpretive Notice, Disclosure Requirements for NFA Members Engaging in Virtual Currency Activities. The Interpretative Notice will go into effect on October 31 (“Effective Date”).… Continue Reading

FCA Publishes Dear CEO Letter on Cross-Border Booking Arrangements

Posted in Brexit, Brexit/UK Developments, Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, Financial Markets, UK Developments
On August 8, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a “Dear CEO” letter concerning cross-border booking arrangements. In the letter, the FCA explains that the UK’s impending withdrawal from the EU has resulted in firms needing to put in place contingency plans that, when executed, will impact current business models, legal entity strategies and… Continue Reading

SEC Disapproves BZX Proposed Rule Change to List Shares of Bitcoin-Based Exchange-Traded Product

Posted in Broker-Dealer, Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies
On July 26, the Securities and Exchange Commission disapproved a Bats BZX Exchange proposed rule change that would have permitted the listing and trading of shares of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust (Trust) on BZX. This is the SEC’s second disapproval of the proposed rule change as it has previously disapproved the exchange’s original proposal in… Continue Reading

NFA Interpretive Notice Regarding Engaging in Virtual Currency

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives, Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies
On July 20, the National Futures Association (NFA) submitted to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for approval a proposed interpretive notice regarding Disclosure Requirements for NFA Members Engaging in Virtual Currency Activities. The new disclosure obligations will apply to all NFA members engaging in transactions in virtual currency derivatives and virtual currency, as well as other… Continue Reading

CFTC Issues Customer Advisory on Digital Coins and Tokens

Posted in CFTC, Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued an advisory warning customers of the dangers of purchasing digital coins or tokens. Among other things, the advisory warns customers that buying digital coins or tokens for speculative purposes carries significant risk and identifies various factors that could affect the current or longer-term value of a digital coin… Continue Reading

FSB Publishes Report on Cryptoassets

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, Financial Markets, UK Developments
On July 16, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published a report on the work of the FSB and standard setting bodies on cryptoassets. The report was delivered to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors ahead of their meeting on July 21 – 22. The standard setting bodies, whose work is summarized in the… Continue Reading

FCA Publishes “Dear CEO” Letter on Cryptoassets and Financial Crime

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, Financial Markets, UK Developments
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a “Dear CEO” letter dated June 11, on cryptoassets and financial crime. The purpose is to ensure that banks adequately manage the financial crime risks associated with cryptoassets. The FCA defines cryptoassets as any publicly available medium of exchange that features a distributed ledger and a decentralized… Continue Reading

Treasury Committee’s Virtual Currencies Inquiry Publishes FCA and Bank of England Evidence

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, UK Developments
On May 22, the UK’s House of Commons Treasury Committee (Treasury Committee) updated its webpage on its inquiry into what it refers to as “digital currencies.” The webpage now provides links to written evidence the Treasury Committee has received from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England (BoE) in which they… Continue Reading

FCA Publishes Statement Regarding the Requirement for Firms Offering Cryptocurrency Derivatives To Be Authorized

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, UK Developments
On April 6, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a statement on the requirement that firms trading in cryptocurrency derivatives may need to be authorized. The statement confirms that performing activities or providing services that amount to regulated activities in relation to derivatives are likely to require FCA authorization when performed in relation to… Continue Reading

UK Government Launches Fintech Sector Strategy

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, Financial Markets, UK Developments
On March 22, the UK government held its second annual International Fintech Conference. The Conference forms part of the UK’s plans to maintain its world leading position in technology-enabled innovation in financial services (FinTech). The Conference follows the launch of the European Commission’s FinTech Action Plan, further details of which are available in the Corporate… Continue Reading

Mark Carney Criticizes Cryptocurrencies in Speech About the Future of Money

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, UK Developments
On March 2, the governor of the Bank of England (BoE), Mark Carney, delivered a speech entitled “The Future of Money.” Mr. Carney highlighted shortcomings of cryptocurrencies and the need for authorities to isolate, regulate or integrate them, with his preference being regulation. Mr. Carney stated that “isolation risks foregoing potentially major opportunities from the… Continue Reading

European Commission Publishes FinTech Action Plan

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, EU Developments
On March 8, the European Commission issued a press release unveiling a 23-step action plan on how to harness the opportunities presented by technology-enabled innovation in financial services (FinTech). The European Commission identifies two goals: (1) capitalizing on fast-moving progress in technology to improve the European Union’s economy, and (2) incentivizing a more competitive and… Continue Reading

CFTC and UK Financial Conduct Authority Sign Cooperation Arrangement on Financial Technology Innovation

Posted in CFTC, Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, UK Developments
On February 19, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) signed the “Cooperation Arrangement on Financial Technology Innovation,” which memorializes the intention of the CFTC and FCA to collaborate and support their respective financial technology (FinTech) initiatives—LabCFTC and FCA Innovate. The arrangement intends to support these FinTech initiatives through an… Continue Reading

FCA and CFTC Enter Into Cooperation Agreement on FinTech

Posted in CFTC, Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, UK Developments
On February 19, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) (collectively the Regulators) published a press release announcing that they have signed a Cooperation Agreement on the same date with each other on financial technology (FinTech) innovation.… Continue Reading

Warning to Consumers on Virtual Currency Risks Issued by EBA, EIOPA and ESMA

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, EU Developments
On February 12, the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) (collectively the three European Supervisory Authorities (three ESAs)) published a joint warning to consumers relating to the high risks of buying and/or holding virtual currencies (such as Bitcoin, Ether and Ripple).… Continue Reading

Application Window for Cohort 4 of the Regulatory Sandbox Is Open Until the End of January

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, UK Developments
The application window for businesses to be part of cohort 4, the latest cohort, of the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) regulatory sandbox is open until January 31. Businesses such as authorized firms, unauthorized firms that require authorization and technology businesses can apply to each cohort of the FCA’s sandbox.… Continue Reading