FinTech Regulatory Sandbox established in Stockholm

Stockholm is a major hub for Fintech, attracting about one fifth of all European FinTech investments and can pride itself in being the home of successful FinTech companies such as Klarna and iZettle. In order to maintain its position as a European FinTech center, the Swedish Government has given the Financial Supervisory Authority an assignment to facilitate FinTech innovation. This has resulted in a FinTech Regulatory Sandbox where FinTech companies

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Sandbox, Sweden

Where Can I Buy Things With Bitcoin?

Much of the attention around Bitcoin in 2017 understandably focused on its meteoric price rise and overall volatility.  But all that attention overlooks the fact that Bitcoin was initially intended to be used as a currency for buying things.  Thus, the oft-reported story of the developer (Laszlo Hanyecz) who bought two pizzas in May 2010 for 10,000 Bitcoin ($140 million value today) in what is reported as the first bitcoin

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Bitcoin, Uncategorized

ICOs Enjoined in Malaysia and North Carolina

Today, the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) directed CopyCash Foundation to immediately cease and desist all its proposed activities, including a purported plan to launch an ICO on January 10, 2018 in Malaysia.  This directive covers all activities as described in or incidental to CopyCash Foundation’s white paper related to the ICO, including any roadshows, seminars or promotional events related to the scheme.  The directive was issued because the SC “found

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ICO, Malaysia

SEC Temporarily Halts Trading of Blockchain Company’s Stock

UBIA is a Hong Kong company that focuses on the research and application of blockchain technology, with a focus on the IOT.  The U.S. SEC reported that it had temporarily suspended trading in UBIA’s tock through January 22, 2018. The reason for the suspension is because “of (i) questions regarding the accuracy of assertions, since at least September 2017, by UBIA in filings with the Commission regarding the company’s business

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Litigation, SEC, US

As England’s FCA Continues its Watching Brief on DLT & ICOs, is it Time For Self-Regulation?

In April 2017, England’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a Discussion Paper (“DP”) on DLT which sought views on the regulatory implications of DLT developments in financial markets and considered the potential risks and benefits of DLT applications. The FCA received 47 responses to the DP from a range of market participants and on 15 December 2017 the FCA published its Feedback Statement. No need to change rules In its

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Cryptocurrency, ICO, Smart Contracts, UK

$4 Billion Crypto-Promoter Ordered to Halt Fraudulent Sales

The Texas State Securities Board said yesterday that it entered an Emergency Cease and Desist Order to halt the multiple investment programs operated by BitConnect, an overseas company that claims a market share of $4.1 billion for its cryptocurrency coins. BitConnect’s investor solicitations promise returns of over 100 percent, the TSSB said, for BitConnect’s own proprietary cryptocurrency, called BitConnect Coins, or BCC.  The enforcement action follows BitConnect’s recent announcement that

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Cryptocurrency, Litigation, US

Baker McKenzie (in Collaboration With R3) Publishes a Whitepaper: Blockchains and Laws. Are they Compatible?

Any distributed ledger used by an enterprise or industry needs to conform to data requirements in the countries in which it operates. Existing blockchains based on Bitcoin and Ethereum codebases can indiscriminately broadcast private data to all participants of a network, and therefore may not always be suitable for use in financial services. Distributed ledgers have been developed that share certain data only with participants who need to see it,

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ICO Lawsuits

One of the big questions surrounding ICOs is whether the “coin” (or token) offered in the ICO is considered a security and, therefore, subject to securities laws, including registration.  One of the U.S. SEC’s first official statements on the matter, issued in response to the DAO debacle, was probably most famous for its lack of definitive statements.  It said that: [F]ederal securities law may apply to various activities, including distributed

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Cryptocurrency, DAO, ICO, Litigation, SEC, Securities, US

Cryptocurrency Activity by Asia-Pac Governments

In well publicized moves in late 2017, both China and South Korea banned ICOs.  Today, the Malaysian finance minister said in an interview that Malaysia will not impose a blanket ban on cryptocurrency trading.  At the same time, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported that, in a further tightening move, “The South Korean government has been developing a system that is likely to start banning the use of anonymous accounts

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China, Cryptocurrency, Malaysia, South Korea