On August 20, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a letter written jointly with the European Banking Authority (EBA) and addressed to the European Commission (EC) relating to cryptoassets. The letter responds to a letter from the Commission dated July 19.

The letter begins by welcoming the EC’s work responding to issues identified in the January 2019 reports by ESMA and the EBA on cryptoassets and initial coin offerings (for more information, see the January 11, 2019 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest). ESMA and the EBA agree that it is vital that further work progresses urgently to inform any actions taken by the new EC.
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On July 18, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) published Regulatory Notice 19-24 (Notice), which encourages member firms to continue notifying their Regulatory Coordinators about their digital assets activities. The Notice extends the requested notification period originally set forth in Regulatory Notice 18-20 from July 31, 2019 to July 31, 2020. (For additional information regarding

On July 8, in response to questions raised by market participants regarding the application of federal securities laws and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rules to the custody of digital asset securities and transactions, the staffs of the Division of Trading and Markets (the Division) and FINRA issued a joint statement. The joint statement seeks to articulate and clarify various considerations pertinent to many of the questions raised, particularly with respect to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Customer Protection Rule applicable to SEC-registered broker-dealers.
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On July 3, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published an updated version (dated June 2019) of its anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) standards.

This version includes a recently adopted interpretative note to recommendation 15 (new technologies), in which the FATF explains how its standards apply to virtual asset activities and virtual asset service providers (VASPs).
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On July 3, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a consultation paper (CP19/22) on prohibiting the sale, marketing and distribution to retail clients of derivatives and exchange traded notes (ETNs) referencing certain types of cryptoassets by firms acting in, or from, the UK.
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Recognizing the need for guidance as to the application of US federal securities law for those considering an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), or otherwise engaging in the offer, sale or distribution of a digital asset, the Securities and Exchange Commission released its Framework for “Investment Contract” Analysis of Digital Assets. The Framework represents the views of the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub) and is designed to provide additional guidance in areas that the SEC has not previously addressed.
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As part of its LabCFTC initiative, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued a Request for Input (RFI) to deepen the CFTC’s understanding of the technology, mechanics, and markets for Ether and its use on the Ethereum Network. In particular, the RFI seeks to understand similarities and distinctions between Ether and Bitcoin (as well as other

On December 7, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a consultation paper on restricting contract for difference (CFD) and other derivative products sold to retail consumers.

In its consultation paper, the FCA is proposing to intervene in the CFD market to address allegedly poor conduct by firms offering CFD products to retail customers, and to limit the sale of CFDs and similar products with excessive risk features that could result in harm to such customers. The FCA has proposed rules that will require firms to:
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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 and cyber resilience-related terms.
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