On January 20, 2022, the Federal Reserve Board published a discussion paper on the potential for a US central bank digital currency, or CBDC.  Entitled “Money and Payments: The U.S. Dollar in the Age of Digital Transformation,” the paper provides further insight into the public policy concerns guiding the Fed as it deliberates whether to adopt a US CBDC.

Continue Reading Federal Reserve Publishes Discussion Paper on CBDC

In connection with a December 14, 2021, hearing of the Senate Banking Committee focused on the topic of stablecoins, Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-PA) released a collection of principles that he hopes will influence the development of a future legislative framework for the asset class. Senator Toomey’s principles offer a more flexible approach to stablecoins in contrast to the approach embraced in a recent report on stablecoins released by the President’s Working Group, which advocated for limiting stablecoin issuances to entities that are insured depository institutions under the oversight of federal banking regulators.

Continue Reading Senator Outlines Stablecoin Principles

On December 6, 2021, the Biden administration released a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive US Strategy on Countering Corruption.  The Strategy addresses all angles of the fight against corruption: prevention, investigation, exposure, and prosecution.  To accomplish this, it relies on a whole-of-government approach resting on five “pillars”: Continue Reading Biden Administration Announces US Strategy on Countering Corruption

On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (the “Infrastructure Bill”), which significantly expands tax information reporting for certain cryptocurrency transactions. The Infrastructure Bill includes an information reporting requirement for cryptocurrency asset exchanges and custodians on an IRS Form 1099, and an information reporting requirement for certain persons who accept large payments in cryptocurrency in such person’s trade or business on an IRS Form 8300. The effective date of these changes will apply to any information return required to be filed after December 31, 2023. Continue Reading New Cryptocurrency Information Reporting Regime Required on Form 1099 and Form 8300

On December 1, 2021, Freddie Mac published Bulletin 2021-36 for Freddie Mac sellers to provide updated guidance on eligibility criteria for qualifying mortgages. Freddie Mac publishes such bulletins on a regular basis for loan originators who wish to resell mortgages to Freddie Mac, and Bulletin 2021-36 covers a number of routine topics such as 2022 conforming loan limits, certain credit underwriting criteria and document custody. The bulletin is notable, however, because it specifically addresses requirements related to cryptocurrency’s use in the mortgage qualification process.

Continue Reading Freddie Mac Addresses Cryptocurrency in Mortgage Lending Criteria

On November 23, 2021, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs sent a series of letters to prominent stablecoin issuers and cryptocurrency exchanges. Citing the recent President’s Working Group on Financial Markets report on stablecoins, the letters seek to clarify basic operational features of various stablecoins which the Committee believes is critical to improving its understanding of digital assets.

Continue Reading Senate Banking Committee Probes Stablecoins

On 25 October 2021, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the regulatory body of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), announced that it implemented a regulatory framework for investment tokens issued or traded within the DIFC (Regulatory Framework for Investment Tokens), which follows from the Consultation Paper No. 138 (Regulation of Security Tokens) it issued earlier in March this year. Consequently, the UAE advances its status as a hub for technological innovation (and entrepreneurs); it fully embraces the global adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies, as well as the demand for Investment Tokens, and the number of companies within the DIFC that are eager to issue, and trade in them, is steadily on the rise. Continue Reading Dubai Financial Services Authority Recently Launched Its Framework for Regulating Digital Assets

On November 8, 2021, law enforcement agencies in both the United States and European Union announced that a series of actions, including a number of arrests, were taken against the Russia-linked ransomware group, “REvil.” The U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) unsealed documents relating to an August indictment against two individuals in Dallas for alleged involvement in REvil ransomware attacks against several U.S. businesses. The European authorities, Europol, also announced that police in Romania and South Korea had arrested five people alleged to be REvil affiliates. Continue Reading Russia-Linked REvil Hackers and Their Affiliates Hit with Arrests by the U.S. and International Allies

On November 1, 2021, the President’s Working Group (PWG) released a long-awaited report on stablecoins (the “Report”).1 The Report outlines a number of significant legislative recommendations for Congress to consider as well as a number of interim measures that agencies should adopt under their existing authorities to protect against prudential risks in the near-term.

Continue Reading President’s Working Group Releases Report on Stablecoins