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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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:
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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 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”).
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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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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 activities in underlying or spot virtual currencies.
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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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