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Exchanges

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On 22 November 2018, there was a first at SIX Swiss Exchange: Swiss-based startup Amun AG obtained the first license worldwide to offer an Exchange Traded Product (ETP) based on multiple crypto-currencies on a regulated stock exchange. The ETP gives investors access to a diversified, weighted and automatically re-balanced basket of the top four most liquid crypto-assets: Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum and Litecoin. Each cryptocurrency was allocated a certain share within the fully secured ETP, with…

On November 8, the SEC settled charges against Zachary Coburn, the founder of EtherDelta, a digital token trading platform.  This is the SEC’s first enforcement action against an entity for operating as an unregulated national securities exchange.  Mr. Coburn consented to the SEC’s order and agreed to pay $300,000 in disgorgement, $13,000 in prejudgment interest, and a $75,000 penalty. In its order, the SEC concluded that EtherDelta’s trading system met the definition of “exchange” under…

On August 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued three separate orders rejecting multiple applications which would have allowed the listing and trading of  Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”).  Two of the orders involved NYSE Arca, Inc., an exchange headquartered in Chicago.  NYSE Arca submitted proposed rule changes which would allow it to list shares on behalf of two Proshares ETFs and five Direxion ETFs.  The third order involved a proposed rule change by the…

In Ukraine, two draft laws which aim to set out the legal basis for blockchain/cryptocurrency businesses in Ukraine have been proposed. The first draft law first submitted in October 2017 is concerned with taxation and provides for decreased corporate income tax, which is to be applied to margin earned on cryptocurrency deals (rather than turnover) and provides rules for the application of VAT. The latest draft law (reported here) seeks to define distributed ledger and smart contract…

There have been previous posts in this blog about statements by the U.S. SEC saying that most ICO’s would seem to qualify as securities offering and thus must be registered (or qualify for an exemption).  In a Statement issued yesterday, the SEC took another tact with implications for the cryptocurrency industry, this time going after exchanges.  The SEC said, “If a platform offers trading of digital assets that are securities and operates as an ‘exchange,’…

Australia has introduced new laws to regulate digital currency exchange service providers in the same way as providers of traditional currency exchange services. Businesses providing digital currency exchange services (for example, services converting money into bitcoin and vice versa) will need to be registered with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and comply with anti-money laundering requirements, following the passage of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Bill 2017 last month. This follows…