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.
Continue Reading ESMA and EBA Respond to Letter From European Commission on Cryptoassets Work

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.
Continue Reading SEC Releases Framework for “Investment Contract” Analysis of Digital Assets

On January 9, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published advice addressed to the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptoassets. On the same day, the European Banking Authority (EBA) also published advice on cryptoassets addressed to the European Commission.
Continue Reading ESMA and EBA Publish Advice on Cryptoassets

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 European Commission Publishes Statement on Regulating Cryptoassets and ICOs

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

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:
Continue Reading UK Treasury Committee Calls for Regulation of Crypto-Assets

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. It also contains an explanatory statement in which the rapporteur, Ashley Fox, summarizes the changes he considers would improve it.
Continue Reading ECON Publishes Draft Report on Proposed Regulation on European Crowdfunding Service Providers

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:
Continue Reading CFTC Issues Customer Advisory on Digital Coins and Tokens

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 system for exchanging value.
Continue Reading FCA Publishes “Dear CEO” Letter on Cryptoassets and Financial Crime

On January 8, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released its annual Regulatory and Examination Priority Letter detailing various issues that will be the subject of particular regulatory focus and scrutiny this year. Many of the areas noted are carry-overs from previous years, including the protection of senior investors and other retail customers, new product suitability reviews, and enhanced scrutiny of high-risk brokers. However, the letter also reflects various new issues that have caught FINRA’s attention and will require increased attention by FINRA member firms.
Continue Reading FINRA Releases 2018 Regulatory and Examination Priority Letter