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On April 17, 2024, Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced a bill entitled the Lummis-Gillibrand Payment Stablecoin Act. The bill is the latest bipartisan effort by the two senators to provide a comprehensive federal oversight regime for the regulation of stablecoins.

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US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the US Department of Commerce’s (Commerce) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ), collectively issued guidance regarding the obligations of non-US based companies and persons to comply with US sanctions (Tri-Seal Compliance Note: Obligations of foreign-based persons to comply with US sanctions and export control laws) (Compliance Note).

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On February 6, 2024, by a 3-2 vote, the US Securities and Exchange Commission adopted new rules that expand the definition of “dealer” under the federal securities laws. Ostensibly adopted to provide the SEC with greater oversight over the market for Treasury bonds, the new rules are not limited to any particular asset class, and may impact the operations of firms that regularly trade in cryptocurrencies or other digital assets that are securities.

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On December 22, 2023, President Biden signed the Foreign Extortion Prevention Act (FEPA) into law as part of the fiscal year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act. Although bribery always requires a giver and a receiver, US anti-corruption efforts have traditionally focused almost exclusively on those who pay bribes because of the way the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is written. The FCPA criminalizes the act of giving bribes to foreign government officials, but until now, the US has not had a statute that criminalized the receipt of bribes by foreign government officials. The FEPA will now complement the FCPA by criminalizing demand-side bribery by foreign officials.

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2023 was a year filled with remarkable AI-related legal developments in legislation, litigation, and regulation. Recent headlines indicate that 2024 will be noteworthy as well. In our AI and Emerging Technologies Year in Review, we take a look at what happened over the past year and predict how key AI issues and trends in the law will continue to progress.

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On January 12, 2024, FinCEN updated its Beneficial Ownership Information Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) to include new information and clarifications about reporting companies, beneficial owners, company applicants, and other reporting requirements. We discuss these developments in our post.

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FINRA, the self-regulatory organization overseeing the US broker-dealer industry, recently announced two items of interest for broker-dealers offering crypto asset securities. On January 9, 2024, FINRA published its 2024 Annual Regulatory Oversight Report, which includes a detailed section for broker-dealers conducting a crypto asset business. Then, on January 23, 2024, FINRA published a report detailing the results of a targeted sweep examination on customer communications involving crypto assets, finding potential substantive violations of FINRA Rule 2210 in approximately 70 percent of surveyed communications.

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In a reversal of a policy that has spanned two administrations, on January 10, 2024, the SEC approved applications for 11 Bitcoin spot exchange traded funds, or ETFs. The SEC approved the order by a 3-2 vote, with Chair Gensler forming a majority with the two Republican commissioners, and the two Democratic commissioners voting against the action.

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On January 8, 2024, the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee issued a detailed report on decentralized finance, or DeFi. The report, which was authored by the Subcommittee on Digital Assets and Blockchain Technology, notes that DeFi offers both promising opportunities and complex, significant risks to the US financial system, consumers and national security.

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