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.
Continue Reading CFTC Advisory Committee Issues Report on Decentralized Finance

In recent months, members of Congress have introduced a wide variety of bills seeking to create a new federal regulatory regime for digital assets. NASAA, which is an umbrella organization for state and provincial securities regulators in the US, Canada and Mexico, recently submitted a letter to Congress critical of one such bill that lays out a series of arguments more broadly against federal action.
Continue Reading State Securities Regulators Oppose Federal Digital Asset Bill

On August 10, 2022, 3-2 majorities of the SEC and CFTC voted to propose amendments to Form PF reporting for certain investment advisers to private investment funds. Among the many proposed amendments to the form, the proposed rules would for the first time require covered investment advisers to report on certain digital asset investments.
Continue Reading SEC and CFTC Propose Digital Asset Reporting on Form PF

On March 9, 2022, the Biden Administration released its much-anticipated “Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets”. The White House describes the Executive Order as the “first whole-of-government strategy” on digital assets and attempts to strike a balance between encouraging innovation and US leadership in the digital asset space, while signaling an appetite to protect against a variety of stated risks through additional regulation and legislation. 
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In 15 recent enforcement actions, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced charges against various digital asset exchanges for failure to register appropriately as futures commission merchants. This series of actions is the latest in an ongoing regulatory crackdown across federal agencies involving cryptocurrency and other digital asset trading platforms.
Continue Reading CFTC Charges Crypto Platforms for Registration and Trading Violations

In a settled enforcement case announced August 9, 2021, the SEC fined Poloniex, LLC, a crypto trading platform, for operating an unregistered securities exchange. Then, on August 10, 2021, the CFTC and FinCEN announced a settled enforcement case against crypto exchange BitMEX for anti-money laundering violations and failure to register with the CFTC as a trading platform. The cases highlight US regulators’ increased focus on cryptocurrency exchanges.
Continue Reading Regulators Continue Crackdown on Crypto Exchanges

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