As a show of continued interest in the development of cryptoasset solutions, Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, recently sent a letter to Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks. Chairman Crapo’s letter requested an update on findings of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and information regarding next steps the OCC intends to take with respect to blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
Continue Reading Senate Banking Committee Shows Continued Interest in Cryptoassets

The World Bank Group recently published a “FinTech Note” on Smart Contract Technology and Financial Inclusion in its “Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation” series. The note explores the potential of smart contracts to spur economic development and financial inclusion around the globe.
Continue Reading The World Bank Group Weighs in on the Economic Potential of Smart Contracts

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 7, 2019, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued further guidance on patent subject matter eligibility, which should ease some of the burden placed on patent applicants seeking to obtain U.S. patents on certain technology, including blockchain technology.
Continue Reading USPTO’s Latest Guidance Should Ease the Burden for Blockchain Patent Applications

On November 8, 2018, the SEC announced settled charges against an unlicensed digital token exchange. It represents the SEC’s first enforcement action based on findings that such a platform operated as an unregistered national securities exchange. This action follows first-of-their kind enforcement actions that the SEC brought in September against an unregistered broker-dealer and an unregistered investment company that each transacted in digital securities.
Continue Reading SEC Brings First Enforcement Action Against Unregistered Token Exchange

The SEC’s Division of Enforcement (Division) released its latest Annual Report (Report) on November 2, 2018. The fiscal year that ended September 30, 2018, was a busy one for the SEC in the crypto and distributed ledger technology space, and the Report includes a discussion of the SEC’s initiatives on this front.
Continue Reading SEC Annual Enforcement Report Highlights Crypto and DLT Cases

On Monday, October 22, 2018, Judge J. Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York granted Alibaba Group Holding Limited’s motion for preliminary injunction in a trademark action against several foreign-based promoters and developers of a new cryptocurrency called “AlibabaCoin.” In doing so, the court considered several novel issues around personal jurisdiction and blockchain.
Continue Reading Alibaba Wins Preliminary Injunction Against Developers of Cryptocurrency “AlibabaCoin” In Trademark Dispute

Hunton Andrews Kurth partner Scott Kimpel, chair of the Firm’s blockchain working group, recently participated in a panel discussion hosted by the Washington Legal Foundation regarding the latest legal issues associated with ICOs and security token offerings.
Continue Reading Initial Coin Offerings: Can Securities Regulators Balance Market Growth and Investor Protection?

As reported on the Hunton Insurance Recovery Blog, in what appears to be a case of first impression, an Ohio trial court ruled in Kimmelman v. Wayne Insurance Group that the crypto-currency, Bitcoin, constitutes personal property in the context of a first-party homeowners’ insurance policy and, therefore, its theft would not be subject to the policy’s $200 sublimit for loss of “money.”
Continue Reading “Crypto-Property:” Ohio Court Says Crypto-Currency is Personal Property Under Homeowners’ Policy