A recent Bloomberg article reported that average prices for nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, are down approximately 70 percent from recent highs. A wide range of NFTs have begun to enter the marketplace over the past several months. A digital work of art represented by an NFT recently sold at auction for over $69 million, and even a professional sports league has begun to issue NFTs. A fascinating debate about the social and economic utility of NFTs has emerged, but what are some of the legal issues associated with this new digital asset class?
Continue Reading The Nonfungible Token

As we previously reported, the New York Attorney General has been in protracted litigation with crypto exchange Bitfinex and affiliated stablecoin-issuer Tether. On February 23, 2021, the Attorney General announced a definitive settlement of the matter. The settlement cements the New York Attorney General’s intention aggressively to police the virtual currency marketplace using the expansive anti-fraud authority granted under the Martin Act
Continue Reading New York Attorney General Announces Settlement with Bitfinex

In some of her first remarks on the subject of digital assets since Senate confirmation, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sounded an alarm on Bitcoin. In an interview with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin, Secretary Yellen described Bitcoin as frequently used “for illicit finance” and “an extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions.”
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The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control settled with BitPay, Inc. for $507,375 to resolve 2,102 apparent violations of multiple US sanctions programs for allowing individuals located in sanctioned jurisdictions to use digital currency on its platform to transact with merchants in the United States and elsewhere.
Continue Reading OFAC Settles with Digital Currency Services Provider for Apparent Violations of Multiple Sanctions Programs

In the past week, Canadian securities regulators approved the offering of the first two Canadian Bitcoin ETFs. By holding Bitcoin, the Canadian funds intend to provide investors with access to the US dollar and Canadian dollar price of Bitcoin through an ETF structure. The ETF units have been conditionally approved for listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Continue Reading Two Bitcoin ETFs Approved for Sale in Canada

As has been widely reported, President Biden has nominated Gary Gensler to be the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The former CFTC chairman under President Obama, Gensler currently teaches courses on blockchain and digital assets at MIT. What should the crypto community expect of Mr. Gensler as SEC chair?
Continue Reading President Biden’s Nominee for SEC Chairman: What Does It Mean for Crypto?

Amid the rise of digital currency services, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control published a cautionary tale on December 30, 2020, discussing a recent settlement with BitGo, Inc., a California-based technology company that facilitates digital currency transactions and provides non-custodial digital wallet management services.
Continue Reading OFAC Settlement Highlights Risks for Those Dealing in Digital Currencies

The President’s Working Group (PWG), a federal interagency working group of financial regulators established by Executive Order in 1988, has issued a statement outlining key regulatory and supervisory considerations related to stablecoins and digital payment systems. Beginning with a declaration that the United States encourages responsible payments innovation, the statement outlines various high-level regulatory principles that participants in stablecoin arrangements need to account for.
Continue Reading Designing Stablecoins: Federal Regulators Issue Statement Highlighting Key Regulatory and Supervisory Considerations