Posts Categorized: Cryptocurrencies

DOJ Brings Charges in First NFT Fraud Case

The U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ’) has charged two individuals with a conspiracy to defraud investors in non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) in which they abandoned the scheme and made off with the money invested (a “rug-pull”) shortly after it was invested. NFTs are digital assets recorded on a blockchain, a decentralized digital ledger. The advertised… Read more »

SEC on Cryptocurrency Interest-Bearing Deposits

On February 14, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued an order In the Matter of BlockFi Lending LLC (“BlockFi”), ordering it to pay a $50 million civil penalty, to cease and desist its violative actions and to comply with certain other undertakings. The SEC determined that the BlockFi Interest Accounts, among other… Read more »

FATF Issues Guidance on Virtual Assets Including Stablecoins

In October 2021, the U.S. Financial Action Task Force (the “FATF”) issed Updated Guidance for a Risk Based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Providers and a summary of the guidance. In addition to a number of other updates, Part Two, Box 1, deals with so-called stablecoins. Stablecoins purport to maintain a stable relationship… Read more »

N.Y. Attorney General Alleges Unregistered Dealers Selling Crypto Securities and Commodities

In a letter to five trading platforms, N.Y. Attoney General Letitia James notified them that certain crypto-assets are securities under the N.Y. law – the Martin Act – that requires sellers of securities within or from the state to register with the state. They are securities because they “promise a rate of return to investors,… Read more »

UK FCA Bans Retail Sale of Cryptoderivatives

On the grounds that among others they cannot be reliably valued, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) has banned the sale, distribution and marketing to retail customers of derivatives and exchange traded notes based on unregulated cryptoassets as of January 6, 2021.  The FCA has said that this does not include security tokens as… Read more »

Cryptocurrency Rules Significantly Broadened in Japan

On April 3, 2020, the Japanese Financial Services Agency issued amended regulations to carry out changes made last year to the Japanese Payment Services Act and Financial Instruments Exchange Act. The new regulations go into effect on May 1, 2020, and reflect major changes in the regulations. While the changes are extensive and beyond the… Read more »

SEC Rejects NYSE Listing of Bitcoin Trust

On February 26, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) published a notice of its disapproval of the application by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE Arca, Inc. or “NYSE Arca”) to amend its rules to allow it to list and trade shares of the United States Bitcoin and Treasury Investment Trust.   Among… Read more »

CFTC, FinCen and SEC Joint “Reminder” to Cryptocurrency World of AML Requirements

On October 11, 2019, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCen”) of the U.S. Treasury and the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued a joint statement reminding “persons engaged in activities involving digital assets of  their anti-money laundering and countering of financing of terrorism (“AML/CFT”) obligations under the… Read more »

N.Y. Department of Financial Services Grants More Cryptocurrency Licenses

On July 15, 2019, the N.Y. Department of Financial Services (the “DFS”) announced that it granted virtual currency licenses to two subsidiaries of Seed CX Ltd. as part of its supervisory authority under the so-called “Bitlicense Law“, bringing the total to four since DFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell became head in February.  Seed Digital Commodities Market… Read more »

SEC Claims ICO Is Unregistered Securities Offering

On June 4, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) filed a claim in the District Court for the Southern District of New York alleging that the Initial Coin Offering (the “ICO”) of Kik Interactive Inc. (“Kik”) was an illegal unregistered securities offering.  From May 2017 to September 2017, Kik raised about $100 million through… Read more »