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

What Happened: On October 15, 2021, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued “Sanctions Compliance Guidance for the Virtual Currency Industry” and related updated FAQs. Continue Reading OFAC Continues to Emphasize Regulatory Focus on Virtual Currency Regulation Through Its Sanctions Programs

A recent dispute over trademark ownership to the name of meme-fueled Dogecoin highlights the importance of trademark rights in the ever-growing world of cryptocurrencies.

Continue Reading Timely Trademarks Are Important to Crypto: Dogecoin Disputes Illustrate Potential Naming Issues

In 15 recent enforcement actions, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced charges against various digital asset exchanges for failure to register appropriately as futures commission merchants (FCMs). This series of actions is the latest in an ongoing regulatory crackdown across federal agencies involving cryptocurrency and other digital asset trading platforms.

Continue Reading CFTC Charges Crypto Platforms for Registration and Trading Violations

On September 21, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued an Updated Advisory on Potential Sanctions Risks for Facilitating Ransomware Payments (the “Updated Advisory”) on the sanctions risks associated with facilitating ransomware payments.

Continue Reading OFAC Designates Virtual Currency Exchange as Malicious Cyber Actor

On September 13, 2021, New York Attorney General (NYAG) Letitia James announced the entry of a default judgment against crypto platform Coinseed and its CEO. The default judgment includes broad injunctive relief against Coinseed’s future operations in New York state. The case is one of many that regulators have recently brought against crypto trading platforms.

Continue Reading New York AG Obtains Default Judgment Against Crypto Platform

On August 23, 2021, CFTC Commissioner Dawn Stump released a helpful primer on the CFTC’s regulatory authority over digital assets. The statement emphasizes that the CFTC does not typically regulate the spot market for cash commodities (including digital assets), and instead focuses on oversight of derivatives. But, Commissioner Stump cautioned that the CFTC does retain antifraud authority over the spot markets. Tracing through the CFTC’s authority (and that of other sister regulators) in ten steps, the statement concludes that “with respect to a digital asset, ask not whether a digital asset is a commodity or security—ask whether a futures contract or other derivative product is involved.”

Commissioner Stump’s complete statement is available here.