Search Results for: bitcoin

The Bitcoin Marketplace and Regulatory Environment: An Overview

  In the fourth quarter of 2014, bitcoin’s volatile price generally fluctuated between $300 and $400, about one-third of its all-time peak of around $1,200 from one year before. Despite this price drop during 2014, startup companies and financial products focused on bitcoin continue to burgeon, and, in turn, various regulators have recently proposed regulations, made […]

Smart Contracts That Violate the Commodity Exchange Act: What Parties Are Liable?

  In recent years, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has devoted significant resources to addressing how the requirements of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and the regulations thereunder apply to transactions involving Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.[1] The CFTC has not adopted any rules specific to virtual currencies, but rather has made clear […]

CFTC Chairman Giancarlo Testifies on Virtual Currency and FinTech

  On July 25, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Chairman Giancarlo testified before the House Committee on Agriculture to address the priorities and recent work of the agency.[1] The testimony touched on a number of areas, but focused in significant part on the CFTC’s oversight of virtual currencies and financial technology (“FinTech”). Those portions of […]

Cause for Caution: Virtual Currency-Related Enforcement Actions

On January 19 the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a joint statement warning about potential enforcement actions involving the offering of digital instruments: “When market participants engage in fraud under the guise of offering digital instruments – whether characterized as virtual currencies, coins, tokens, or the like […]

Recent Blockchain Regulatory Developments

  Blockchain and distributed ledger technology (“DLT”) applications outside of the bitcoin context are attracting the attention of financial entities, prompting regulators to become increasingly focused on these possible applications.[1]  Recently, for example: (i) potential financial and securities applications of DLT were discussed in depth at a “FinTech Forum” held at the Securities and Exchange […]

CFTC Considers Blockchain Technology

The disruptive effects of blockchain technology on the financial system may take several years to materialize. Nevertheless, in preparation, regulators are increasingly focused on understanding potential uses of blockchain technology and considering related legal issues.  Many regulators are already familiar with bitcoin, the popular virtual currency underpinned by blockchain technology.[1]  As discussed below, the bitcoin […]

Responses to ESMA Call for Evidence on Investment Using Virtual Currency or Distributed Ledger Technology Published

  Earlier this year, the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”) published a “call for evidence [on] investment using virtual currency or distributed ledger technology.”[1]  ESMA established July 21, 2015 as the deadline for market participants and other stakeholders to respond to the call for evidence and to submit feedback and any additional information on […]

NYDFS Finalizes BitLicense Regulations

  On June 3, 2015, the New York Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) released its final BitLicense regulations, which Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky described as “the first comprehensive framework for regulating digital currency firms.”[1]  As previously reported, the NYDFS originally released proposed BitLicense regulations on July 17, 2014.[2]  After receiving thousands of public comments, primarily voicing concern over […]