Liechtenstein Government Announces New Blockchain Act

On May 7, 2019 the Liechtenstein government reported that it passed a motion to implement a new law on Tokens and VT Service Providers (generally referred to as the “Blockchain Act”). In recent times we have seen various European jurisdictions introduce regulation or publish regulatory guidance concerning specific aspects of blockchain technologies,  However, Liechtenstein considers that its  Blockchain Act is the first to create a holistic regulatory framework for the

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Cryptocurrency, Liechtenstein

UK Jurisdiction Taskforce Launches Consultation on Cryptoassets, Distributed Ledger Technologies and Smart Contracts

The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (“UKJT“) recently published a consultation paper on the status of cryptoassets, DLT, and smart contracts under English private law. The UKJT is one of the six taskforces of the LawTech Delivery Panel created by the Law Society of England and Wales. The LawTech Delivery Panel was set up in October 2018 and is formed of a team of industry experts and leading figures from government and the

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Cryptoassets, Cryptocurrency, Distributed Ledger Technology, Smart Contracts, UK

FATF is Anticipated to Issue Global Standards for Regulating Certain Cryptocurrency-Based Services in June 2019

During a speech at Consenus 2019, Sigal Mandelker, the U.S. Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, reiterated the projection that the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) will adopt international standards for cryptocurrency-based services in June 2019.  FATF (also known by its French name, Groupe d’action financière) is an independent inter-governmental body that develops global standards for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing. In 2014 and 2015 FATF began expressing

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AML, Banking, Cryptocurrency, FATF

English High Court Rules on Cryptocurrency Investments

On April 21, 2019, the English High Court ruled that it would have jurisdiction to hear the case of Ramona ANG v Reliantco Investments Ltd, following its determination that speculative investments, in this case Bitcoin futures, are not inherently a business activity. Therefore, the protections afforded to consumers under EU law (the Brussels Regulation (Recast) No 12/5/2012 (the “Regulation“) to bring claims via the courts in their own jurisdictions could

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Bitcoin, Consumer Law, Cryptocurrency, UK

Celebrities Mayweather and Khaled, Fined by the SEC, But Dismissed from Private Civil Lawsuit

We previously reported that, in November 2018, in a first of its kind case, the SEC charged  celebrities DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather with touting violations involving ICOs. Without admitting or denying the findings, Mayweather and Khaled agreed to pay disgorgement, penalties and interest.  One of the ICOs that they touted was Centra Tech.  They were also sued for securities law violations in a civil case brought by Centra Tech investors.

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ICO, Litigation, Touting, US

FinCEN Issues Guidance and Advisory on Convertible Virtual Currencies

On May 9, 2019, the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued guidance on the application of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulations, specifically those regulations applicable to money services businesses (MSBs), to certain business models involving the transmission of convertible virtual currencies (CVCs) (the “Guidance”).  The Guidance follows previous interpretive guidance issued by FinCEN in 2013 relating to transactions involving the acceptance of currency or funds and the transmission of

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Cryptocurrency, FinCEN, US

FinCEN’s First Enforcement Action Against P2P Virtual Currency Exchanger

On April 18, 2019, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an arm of the U.S. Department of the Treasury assessed a civil money penalty against Eric Powers for willfully violating the Bank Secrecy Act’s (BSA) registration, program, and reporting requirements. This was FinCEN’s first enforcement action against a peer-to-peer virtual currency exchanger and the first instance in which it has penalized an exchanger of virtual currency for failure to file Currency Transaction

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Bitcoin, Currency Exchange, FinCEN, US

Bitcoin Dealer Sentenced to Two Years in Prison and Ordered to Forfeit Ill-Gotten Gains

On April 8, 2019, Jacob Burrell Campos of Rosarito, Mexico, was sentenced to two years in prison and to forfeit USD 823,357 in illicit profits for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business in connection with his sale of hundreds of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin to over 1,000 customers throughout the United States.  Burrell, a U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty, admitting that he operated a Bitcoin exchange without registering with the

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AML, Criminal, KYC, Money Transmitter, US

New York State Denies Bittrex Request for BitLicense

We have previously written about New York’s BitLicense regulations, which prohibit companies from engaging in “virtual currency business activity” in New York, or with New York residents, without a license.  Bittrex, based in the State of Washington, is one of the more established cryptocurrency exchanges.  On April 10, 2019, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) published a letter denying Bittrex’s BitLicense application. According to the DFS press release,

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AML, BitLicense, Cryptocurrency, New York

The Gibraltar Stock Exchange Set To Offer Digital Debt Securities and Funds

The Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX) is set to become among the world’s first stock exchanges to offer the listing services of digital debt securities and digital funds. The GSX announced on April 9, 2019 that it would begin listing of these new products, known as ‘digital’, ‘smart’ or ‘tokenised’ securities, such as Corporate Bonds, Convertible Bonds, Asset Backed Securities, Derivative Securities, Open-Ended Funds, Closed-Ended Funds, utilizing Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), under its current

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Gibraltar, GSX, Tokenized Securities
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