Susan Ross (US)

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US Treasury Department seeks comments on online marketplace lending

Noting the boom in online lending platforms, on July 20, 2015, the US Treasury Department published a “Request for Information” (RFI) seeking comments on the services, products and operational structure of online marketplace lending, which the RFI defined as small business and consumer lending through the use of “investment capital and data-driven online platforms.” The … Continue Reading

Banks restricted in robocalls and texts to customer cell phones without prior consent

On July 10, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a 105 page omnibus declaratory ruling and order (“Order”) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) that, among other things, permits banks and other financial institutions to call consumers on their wireless telephones using autodialer equipment and pre-recorded messages (“robocalls”) and also send texts without … Continue Reading

Leap Second is Coming June 30!

On June 30, 2015, the world will once again experience a “leap second,” where one second is added to the clock. As a result, there will actually be civilian clocks reading 23:59:60 on that day. (Leap second has no impact on atomic clocks and any thing that uses atomic clocks, like GPS). The extra second will be … Continue Reading

New York issues final virtual currency regulations

On June 3, 2015, New York became the first state in the United States to issue regulations for virtual currency licenses. The final regulations differ only slightly from the revised draft regulations issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NY DFS) in February, which we had previously covered. By way of background, … Continue Reading

FinCEN issues first AML civil penalty against a virtual currency exchange

On May 5, 2015, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the US federal anti-money laundering agency, announced a $700,000 civil penalty against Ripple Labs Inc. (Ripple) and its subsidiary for acting as an unregistered money services business. FinCEN and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, a division of the US … Continue Reading

New York issues first authorization for a company to act as a virtual currency exchange

On May 6, 2015, the Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) authorized itBit Trust Company LLC (“itBit”) to engage in the business of a limited purpose trust company and to act as a virtual currency exchange. ItBit is not your typical money services business, which is usually a nonbanking organization that … Continue Reading

New York revised proposed virtual currency license regulation

On February 4, 2015, the New York Department of Financial Services (NY DFS) issued a revised proposed regulation for certain virtual currency activities. In response to comments received on its initial draft, NY DFS has revised almost every one of the now 22-section draft proposed regulation. Review the original draft regulation. By way of background, … Continue Reading

CFPB finalizes alternative delivery method for privacy notices

On October 28, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published in the Federal Register its final rule allowing some banks and other financial institutions an alternative way to provide the annual privacy notices that they are required to provide customers by posting the notice on its website. This final rule was effective immediately upon … Continue Reading

The FTC and Bitcoin mining computers

On September 18, 2014, a federal trial court in Missouri granted the Federal Trade Commission’s ex parte motion for a temporary restraining order, asset freeze, and appointment of a receiver for Butterfly Labs.  Butterfly Labs made claims on its web site and on social media that its computers enabled consumers to “mine” a type of … Continue Reading