Author

Sue McLean

Browsing

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has published draft guidance for market players in the developing cryptoassets sector (see CP19/3). This follows a report published last autumn by the UK’s Cryptoasset Taskforce (consisting of the FCA, PRA and Treasury) that explores the UK’s approach to cryptoassets and distributed ledger technology. The FCA has been a relatively late mover in producing practical guidance on crypto compared to other regulators internationally, but was it worth the wait? The…

On 9 January 2019, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published advice on ICOs and cryptoassets to the European Commission and other EU institutions.  This development is very much part of the international trend in favour of regulating cryptoassets.  The advice identifies gaps and issues with current EU regulation (or, rather, the absence of it).  For those cryptoassets which are caught by financial regulation, ESMA describes the current regime as inadequate, as it was…

Cryptoassets continue to be a hot topic for financial services regulators. On 19 October 2018, it was the turn of the Securities and Markets Stakeholders Group (“SMSG“), which represents various stakeholders’ interests to the European Securities Markets Authority (“ESMA“). The SMSG published a report setting out its advice to ESMA on how to contain the risks of cryptoassets and ICOs.

Our blog reports on blockchain developments around the world and across industries. For those of our readers interested in some blockchain basics, Baker McKenzie has just published “Unhashing Blockchain: Blockchain Explained.”  In it, we provide an overview of blockchain technology, discuss how it is being used and identify the legal issues that will arise (or have already arisen) in connection with this nascent technology.

In February 2018, the UK Treasury Committee launched an inquiry into digital currencies.  In the course of its inquiry the Committee received oral and written evidence from a number of key players in the crypto space, including representatives from Ripple, CryptoUK and Blockchain, together with evidence from the FCA (the UK financial services regulator), the Bank of England and HM Treasury. Earlier than expected, the Treasury Committee published its crypto-assets report and conclusions and recommendations…

The EU Blockchain Observatory & Forum (EBOF) launched in February 2018 has published its first thematic report outlining the current state of blockchain in Europe. It’s a pretty broad report, but does provide a helpful overview of progress to date and give some useful insight into the EU’s priorities. Europe: fertile ground for blockchain growth and innovation? EBOF views Europe as being in a prime position for blockchain technologies. The report outlines recent and ongoing…

On 18 July 2018 the European Parliament Committee on Internal Trade (“CIT”) published a draft report setting out a motion for a European Parliament Resolution regarding how blockchain could be harnessed to enhance international trade and supply chain management. The report focuses on the use of permissioned (private) blockchain solutions. Blockchain  Benefits   The CIT believes that blockchain provides enormous opportunities for reducing barriers within global trade. In particular, the potential benefits of permissioned blockchain…

On 3 July 2018, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published a report outlining the prudential risks and opportunities arising from FinTech as part of its 2018 FinTech Roadmap. The report includes useful guidance on the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) for trade finance and CDD (although the EBA is keen to note that the report should not be considered to provide an exhaustive list of possible prudential risks and opportunities that may arise.) Trade…

On July 16 the Financial Stability Board (“FSB”) published a report establishing a framework to monitor-crypto-asset markets.  The report sets out the metrics that the FSB will use to monitor crypto-asset markets in order to identify any emerging financial stability concerns in a timely manner. The FSB is an international body made up of national financial authorities, international financial institutions, and international standard-setting bodies, and monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system. The…

Lithuania becomes the latest jurisdiction to release guidance in relation to ICOs. On 8 June 2018, the Lithuanian Government released new Guidelines to deal with what it referred to as an “explosion of ICOs” in the country.  Lithuania heralds itself as a leader in FinTech and has published the ICO Guidelines as a step towards more “certainty and transparency in the regulatory, taxation [and] accounting” requirements of ICOs, and also, importantly, to encourage the crypto…