Ukraine Publishes Draft Taxation Law on Virtual Assets

On September 19,  2018, the Ukranian Parliament published a draft law which aims to set out the legal basis for the taxation of transactions involving virtual assets. The draft law defines the concept of “virtual assets,”  as well as concepts such as “cryptocurrency,”  “distributed ledger,” “token,” and “mining.” The draft law (available here in Ukrainian) seeks to introduce a separate taxation regime for transactions involving virtual assets. Thus, if a

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Cryptocurrency, ICO, Smart Contracts, Ukraine

Australian Regulator Takes Action Against Misleading Initial Coin Offerings

In May of this year, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) indicated that ICO issuers and their associated advisers would come under regulator scrutiny where their conduct or statements were identified as misleading or deceptive.  The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) authorized ASIC to take action against misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to ICOs, even where the ICO does not constitute a “financial product” under Chapter 7

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Australia, ICO

SEC Suspends Trading in Company for Making False Cryptocurrency-Related Claims about SEC Regulation and Registration

Last week we reported that the US SEC stopped a fraudulent ICO that falsely claimed that it had SEC approval.  Yesterday, the SEC suspended trading in the securities of a company amid questions surrounding its statements about partnering with a claimed SEC-qualified custodian for use with cryptocurrency transactions and a purportedly registered public offering of preferred stock. The SEC’s trading suspension order says that two August 2018 press releases issued

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Report Shows Underbelly of Cryptocurrency Money Laundering

On October 10, CipherTrace – a developer of cryptocurrency AML, bitcoin forensics, and blockchain threat solutions – released its Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering Report – Q3 2018 (the “Report”).  The Report analyzed 45 million bitcoin transactions involving the top 20 global cryptocurrency exchanges to produce some sobering findings regarding the level of criminal activity at crypto exchanges and the effectiveness of AML regulation. Some key findings are summarized below. 97% of

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AML, Cryptocurrency, Money Laundering, US

Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority Grants Its First Authorization to a Crypto Company

Crypto Fund AG, a subsidiary of Swiss-based Crypto Finance AG, received authorization from the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to act as an Asset Manager defined under the Swiss Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA). The Press Release from Crypto Finance AG states that Crypto Fund AG, now being an authorized Asset Manager, is permitted to “manage and distribute domestic and foreign investment funds to qualified investors and provide investment

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Banking, FINMA, Switzerland

IBM Launches Blockchain as a Service Food Tracking Network

On Monday 8 October 2018, IBM announced the “IBM Food Trust”, a blockchain based production cloud network which will enable participating retailers, suppliers, growers and food industry providers to see supply chain data in near real time. IBM believes that the network will enable greater traceability, transparency and efficiency in the food chain. The IBM Food Trust relies on the open source blockchain framework, Hyperledger Fabric and will be made

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Supply Chain

SEC Stops Fraudulent ICO That Falsely Claimed SEC Approval

The U.S. SEC announced yesterday that it had stopped what sounds like the most brazen fake ICO yet.  According to the complaint, Blockvest LLC not only falsely claimed that it had obtained SEC approval, it also used the SEC seal without permission (a violation of federal law) and promoted the ICO with a fake agency called the “Blockchain Exchange Commission” (using a graphic similar to the SEC’s seal and the

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ICO, ICO Litigation, SEC, US

Swiss Blockchain-based Businesses Must Consider AML and Licensing Requirements

During 2017, the issue that probably got the most attention for companies raising capital through initial coin offerings (ICOs) was whether tokens constitute securities.  However, governmental agencies and regulators, particularly the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (“FINMA”), focused on other legal issues as well. It was reiterated that companies issuing cryptocurrencies or tokens have to consider not only securities registration but also anti-money laundering and licensing compliance. It has also

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AML, Banking, FINMA, ICO, Switzerland

UK’s HM Land Registry to Explore the Benefits of Blockchain

Enhanced efficiency, collaboration, transparency and trust are some of the key claims of blockchain technology that are appealing to many industries, including the real estate sector. Land registries around the world (including in Sweden and the Republic of Georgia) are exploring the use of blockchain and smart contracts to enable real estate contracts and property records to be completed and monies distributed in an effective and timely manner. On Monday

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Real Estate, Smart Contracts, UK

A Complete Guide to Regulations on Cryptocurrencies and ICOs in Thailand

This blog has previously discussed how different countries have taken varying positions with respect to their friendliness toward cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Baker McKenzie’s office in Thailand has prepared a guide that contains an overview of the regulatory landscape on digital assets in Thailand.

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Cryptocurrency, ICO, Thailand