What Happened:

On February 28, 2022, the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued further sanctions on Russia’s Central Bank, National Wealth Fund, and Ministry of Finance, and announced regulations to implement Executive Order 14024 under the Russia Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Program. On February 24, 2022, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued an immediate final rule implementing sanctions under the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”).1 Continue Reading US Sanctions Tighten on Russia’s Financial Sector and Technology Imports

The red-hot market for nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, continues to draw regulatory scrutiny. A Department of the Treasury report issued on February 4, 2022, is the latest to focus on potential regulatory issues associated with this digital asset class.

Continue Reading Treasury Targets Nonfungible Tokens

The intersection of retail sales and blockchain technology is a current “hot” topic. But what does this actually mean for retailers? Is the time and money needed to invest in new technology worth the cost? What intellectual property (IP) protection is available?

Continue Reading How Retailers Can Make the Blockchain Work for Them in the IP Space

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