Andrew Lom (US)

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US Federal and State legislators propose exempting certain digital tokens from securities laws

On January 4, 2019, two Colorado senators introduced the “Colorado Digital Token Act,” a bill seeking to exempt digital tokens and cryptocurrencies from certain Colorado state securities laws. In filing the Colorado Digital Token Act, the senators proposed that digital tokens with a “primarily consumptive purpose” that are not marketed to be used for “speculative … Continue Reading

SEC issues statement on digital asset securities issuance, investment and trading

On November 16, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a statement on the application of federal securities laws to the issuance and trading of, and investment in, digital asset securities. While the statement encourages technological innovations that benefit investors and capital markets, it emphasizes that market participants must still adhere to federal securities … Continue Reading

SEC announces first enforcement action against EtherDelta for operating an unregistered exchange for ERC20 digital tokens

On November 8, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that it settled charges against Zachary Coburn, founder of EtherDelta, a digital token trading platform, for operating an unregistered national securities exchange. This is the SEC’s first enforcement action based on findings that a digital token trading platform operated as an unregistered national securities … Continue Reading

CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz warns smart contract code developers may be held liable for violations of CFTC regulations

On October 16, 2018, Commissioner Brian Quintenz of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) shared his views on smart contract regulation by the CFTC. In his speech at the 38th Annual GITEX Technology Week Conference, in discussing a hypothetical where code in a smart contract was specifically designed to enable a type of activity regulated … Continue Reading

CFTC announces proposed rule to streamline certain regulations for commodity pool operators and commodity trading advisors

On October 9, 2018, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) proposed changes to the registration and compliance obligations for commodity pool operators (“CPOs”) and commodity trading advisors (“CTAs”) consistent with relief currently provided by various staff letters and advisories. Comments are due sixty (60) days after the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register. … Continue Reading

Regulators bring enforcement actions against 1pool Ltd.

On September 27, 2018, both the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) filed charges against Marshall Islands-based firm 1pool Ltd. (“1pool”) and its Austria-based CEO and owner, Patrick Brunner, for (i) failing to register as a security-based swaps dealer with the SEC, (ii) failing to register as a futures … Continue Reading

SEC adopts new Form ATS-N and amendments to Regulation ATS to increase transparency and oversight of alternative trading systems

On July 18, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) voted to adopt amendments to Regulation ATS that impose additional public disclosure requirements on, and enhance the SEC’s oversight of alternative trading systems (“ATSs”) that facilitate transactions in National Market System stocks (“NMS Stock ATSs”). Regulation ATS, adopted in 1998, established a regulatory framework intended … Continue Reading

SEC’s Jay Clayton and William Hinman reiterate Howey is here to stay

In his June 6, 2018, interview with CNBC, Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chairman Jay Clayton further clarified the regulatory landscape around cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology and initial coin offerings, nothing that the SEC would not support changing the traditional definition of a security to take into account this new technology: “Where I give you my … Continue Reading

New York State starts cryptocurrency exchange inquiry; SEC and CFTC foresee additional cryptocurrency and ICO regulation

On April 17, 2018, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman took the first steps in launching the new Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative through a fact-finding questionnaire sent to thirteen of the major cryptocurrency trading platforms. The Initiative’s focus is protecting consumers and increasing transparency for both investors and enforcement agencies.  “Yet too often, consumers … Continue Reading

SEC Cyber Unit successfully pursues fraudulent ICOs

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), through its new Cyber Unit, recently obtained an emergency asset freeze against Dominic Lacroix, his partner, Sabrina Paradis-Royer, and his company, PlexCorps, for a fraudulent Initial Coin Offering (“ICO”).  The SEC’s complaint alleges that they sold securities claiming investments in PlexCoin would bring profits of 1,354% in less than … Continue Reading

Asset management groups react to proposed incentive-based compensation rule

On May 16, 2016, six federal regulatory agencies – the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Federal Reserve Board, National Credit Union Administration, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Securities and Exchange Commission – announced that they were requesting comment on a proposed rule under Section 956 of the Dodd-Frank … Continue Reading
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