On March 31, 2022, the staff of the Division of Corporation Finance and the Office of the Chief Accountant of the SEC issued Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 121 (SAB 121), which “adds interpretive guidance for entities to consider when they have obligations to safeguard crypto-assets held for their platform users.” SAB 121 highlights the enhanced technological, legal and regulatory risks associated with safeguarding digital assets, as compared with more traditional asset classes.
Continue Reading SEC Issues SAB 121 Providing Accounting Guidance for Companies that Safeguard Digital Assets

On March 24, 2022, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced charges against two defendants and alleged an ongoing fraud involving the sale of nonfungible tokens. The federal criminal case is among the first involving NFTs and foreshadows further regulatory scrutiny of the popular digital asset class.
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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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On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, 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.
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On November 1, 2021, the President’s Working Group released a long-awaited report on stablecoins. The Report outlines a number of significant legislative recommendations for Congress to consider as well as a number of interim measures that agencies should adopt under their existing authorities to protect against prudential risks in the near-term.
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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 the past month, the Federal Reserve, FDIC and OCC have each detailed their upcoming focus on digital asset activities in the banking industry. So far, state banking regulators have often outpaced their federal counterparts in terms of issuing formal regulations and guidance around digital assets. Many banks are waiting to explore potential digital asset products and services until the functional federal bank regulators provide concrete guidance to complete the picture.
Continue Reading Federal Bank Regulators Move to Provide Further Guidance on Digital Asset Activities