Last week, the Office of the Comptroller of Currency, the primary federal regulator of national banks, issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking relating to the regulation of digital activities in banking, and in particular their activities involving cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology.
Continue Reading OCC Seeks Comment on Cryptocurrency and Distributed Ledger Technology

In the fall of 2018 we posted a state-by-state summary of smart contract legislation which included an overview of legislation passed in Arizona, Tennessee and Vermont, as well as an update on legislation pending in other states at the time. Over the past few years, a multitude of states have tackled smart contract legislation with varying degrees of detail and success. Most state smart contract legislation has fallen into three broad categories: formation of exploratory committees, recognition of basic smart contract concepts and comprehensive treatment of smart contracts and related technologies.

Continue Reading An Update on State Smart Contract Legislation

On January 1, the Blockchain Technology Act went into effect in the state of Illinois, creating a statewide framework for the use of blockchain technology and blockchain based contracts, or “smart contracts.” Similar to other recent state legislation addressing the use of blockchain and smart contracts, the Act recognizes the validity of smart contracts and blockchain based records and signatures in commerce. The legislation also prevents smart contracts both from being denied legal effect and from being excluded as evidence in a legal proceeding solely because a blockchain was used to create, store or verify the contract.
Continue Reading The Blockchain Technology Act (Illinois)

Effective September 1, 2019, lawmakers in Texas passed legislation clarifying the ability of businesses organized under Texas law to incorporate blockchain technology into their entity recordkeeping and communications. In doing so, Texas joins the ranks of several other states that have similarly amended their corporate formation statutes.
Continue Reading Texas Passes Legislation Providing for Use of Blockchain in Entity Recordkeeping and Communications

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee each held recent hearings to discuss cryptocurrency and, in particular, the proposed creation of a new digital currency by a prominent US technology company. Both hearings primarily focused on what economic and security concerns a new, privately issued digital currency may raise, how best to regulate the new currency and what role the US and Congress could play in advancing or hindering the growth of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology more generally.
Continue Reading A Digital Currency Goes to Washington

The Council of Institutional Investors (CII) and Templum, Inc. (Templum) each recently submitted comments to the SEC to call for the agency to embrace blockchain technology in a variety of contexts regarding the registration and transfer of securities. The dominant system for clearance and settlement of securities in the United States has its roots in the “paperwork crisis” of the early 1970s, and the resulting regulatory regime based on immobilization of securities is largely inconsistent with a blockchain-based system of traceable shares.
Continue Reading Seeking Clarity in the Use of Blockchain Technology for Securities Trading

For many public companies, the annual meeting voting process is littered with intermediaries and inefficiencies that can result in a lack of shareholder engagement. Blockchain technology has several potential applications that can remedy these inefficiencies and restore shareholder trust and engagement.
Continue Reading The Promise of Blockchain Technology in Annual Meetings and Corporate Governance

Recently, Canadian investment firm First Block Capital Inc. reported that FBC Bitcoin Trust, which the firm bills as the “first and only open-ended bitcoin fund approved by Canadian regulators,” has achieved mutual fund trust status under Canada’s Federal Income Tax Act.
Continue Reading Canadian Bitcoin Fund Granted Mutual Fund Trust Status