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 regulation.
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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

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 findings and conclusions in the Treasury Committee’s report include the following:
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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 March 2017. Notably, Commissioner Hester Peirce dissented from the SEC’s most recent disapproval.
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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 or token, including:
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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 FSB’s report, are: (1) the FSB itself; (2) the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI); (3) the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO); and (4) the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS).
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On July 6, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority published Regulatory Notice 18-20, which encourages member firms to promptly notify FINRA if the firm or any of its associated persons or affiliates engages or intends to engage in any activities involving digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies and other virtual coins and tokens. Digital assets activities include those relating to digital assets that are not securities and the activities under Rule 3270 (Outside Business Activities of Registered Persons) and Rule 3280 (Private Securities Transactions of an Associated Person).
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