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In November 2023, the German Parliament adopted the Act on Financing of the Future (Zukunftsfinanzierungsgesetz, “ZuFinG”), which will allow German stock corporations to issue stock “on chain” (crypto-shares). This is achieved by amending the existing German Act on Electronic Securities (“eWpG”) and the stock corporation law. However, a few requirements will need to be fulfilled. In particular, a change from a traditional paper-based issuance to crypto shares will require that all existing shareholders agree, which…

In 2022 and 2023, following the collapse of the key global players in the crypto industry, regulators around the world closely scrutinized crypto activities and tightened the regulations for digital asset businesses. This tightening primarily concerns the protection and segregation of customers’ assets, which has become standard practice since the crypto crash. Over the past year, we have witnessed a series of enforcement actions and attempts by offshore regulators to classify various types of digital…

We have previously written about the SEC’s case against LBRY, which offered a video sharing application. Its native token, LBC, was meant to be used by content creators and audience members on LBRY’s “content marketplace,” which billed itself as an alternative to YouTube. LBRY had a real business and real customers. But the SEC sued LBRY, claiming that it had conducted an unregistered offering of digital asset securities. LBRY tried to fight back aggressively, noting that…

Almost five years ago, we reported on the SEC’s first-ever case against celebrities for touting ICOs. In 2022, Kim Kardashian paid $1.26 million in connection with her touting on social media a crypto asset security (she received about $250,000 for a post on Instagram). On August 4, 2023, in the SEC’s most recent touting case, singer Austin Mahone consented to a judgment under which he paid about $46,000 for illegal touting. The simple concept behind…

The digital assets industry in Thailand has been growing significantly between 2021 and 2022, as more big players in the traditional financial industry and startup spaced enter the digital assets market. Despite the price volatility and regulatory complexities, the country has seen a rise in crypto-related activities. In this updated report – A Complete Guide to the Regulations on Cryptocurrency and Digital Token Offering in Thailand – the Baker McKenzie Thailand team provides an update of the…

On August 1, 2022 the US Securities and Exchange Commission brought a lawsuit alleging that Forsage was a fraudulent crypto scheme. According to the Complaint, Defendants Vladimir “Lado” Okhotnikov, Jane Doe a/k/a Lola Ferrari, Mikail “Mike” Sergeev, and Sergey Maslakov (the founders of Forsage) created, operated and maintained an online pyramid and Ponzi scheme through Forsage.io (“Forsage”), a website that allowed millions of retail investors in the United States and elsewhere to enter into transactions…

Depending on the particular branch of the U.S. government one is talking to, cryptocurrency can be property (IRS), a security (SEC) or a commodity (CFTC). On April 20, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill aimed at remedying this situation. The bipartisan Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act will establish a digital asset working group to ensure collaboration between regulators and the private sector to foster innovation. The new law will require the SEC and CFTC to…

Before the current run-up in cryptocurrency prices, there were the wild days of late 2017 into 2018. One of the poster-children for that craze was an iced-tea company in Long Island, New York known as Long Island Iced Tea. From approximately 2015 to 2017, the company’s principal business was ready-to-drink beverages. In December 2017, the company changed its name to Long Blockchain Corp. (LBCC) and announced that it was shifting its business operations from soft…

On November 19, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a no-action letter to IMVU, Inc in connection with the sale of its VCOIN token. IMVU describes itself as the world’s largest avatar-based social platform with a global network of over seven million monthly active users. These users create 3D avatars to meet new friends, interact, and play games in virtual environments online and through IMVU’s app. IMVU’s No-Action Letter Request to the SEC argued that…