United States

Topic: General

Subscribe to General RSS feed

The LIBOR Transition — What is LIBOR and why is it important?

Since its creation by the British Bankers Association in the 1980s, the London Interbank Offering Rate (“LIBOR”) has been used as a reference rate for borrowing costs between banks. The LIBOR calculation today is coordinated by the International Continental Exchange Benchmark Administration, which receives information on a daily basis from a group of global money … Continue Reading

US tax implications for “hard forks” and “air drops”

The US Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) on October 9, 2019, issued long-anticipated guidance on cryptocurrency transactions and federal tax rules in Revenue Ruling 2019-24, which focuses on “hard forks” and “air drops.” In 2014, the IRS issued a revenue ruling on the capital gains taxation treatment of purchases and sales of cryptocurrency. However, other questions … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether SEC may obtain disgorgement of “ill-gotten gains”

On November 1, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take a case challenging the authority of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to seek and obtain disgorgement of profits from persons who violate the federal securities laws. The case is Charles C. Liu, et al., Petitioners v. Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC has … Continue Reading

LabCFTC importance is elevated and US financial regulators join the FinTech “Global Sandbox”

On October 24, 2019, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Chairman Heath P. Tarbert announced that LabCFTC would become its own independent office within the agency, reporting directly to him. LabCFTC was established in 2017 within the Office of General Counsel to promote financial technology (“FinTech”) innovation and was designed to be a hub for … Continue Reading

US banks may soon be able to “SAFEly” serve customers in the cannabis business

On September 25, 2019, the US House of Representatives passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019 (or the SAFE Banking Act). The bill, H.R. 1595, which was first introduced by Congressman Ed Perlmutter on March 7, 2019, generally prohibits US banking regulators from penalizing banks for providing financial services to legitimate cannabis-related … Continue Reading

Three US Agencies issue joint statement on activities involving digital assets

On October 11, 2019, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the US anti-money laundering (AML) agency, along with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) (collectively, the “Agencies”) issued a joint statement on digital assets activities (“Statement”), reminding the businesses under their jurisdictions that digital assets activities may be … Continue Reading

Can cryptocurrency issuers get “backed” into a corner?

What do cryptocurrency issuers mean when they say their cryptocurrency is “backed” by some other asset, such as fiat currency? In a recent New York Law Journal column, Robert Schwinger, a partner in the New York office of Norton Rose Fulbright, discusses some of the legal issues arising from claims by cryptocurrency issuers that their … Continue Reading

SEC orders Block.one to pay $24 million penalty for unregistered ICO

On September 30, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced a settlement with Block.one, a blockchain technology company with operations in Virginia and Hong Kong, for conducting an unregistered initial coin offering (“ICO”) that raised several billion dollars’ worth of Ether from June 2017 through June 2018. The SEC alleged that Block.one, a Cayman … Continue Reading

Recent Volcker Rule changes and non-US banks

The Volcker Rule prohibits “banking entities” (generally, insured banks and their affiliates, and non-US banks with US banking operations) from engaging in proprietary trading or sponsoring or investing in private equity funds. Regulations initially implementing the rule were adopted by the federal banking, commodities and securities regulators (Agencies) in 2014. In 2018, the Agencies proposed … Continue Reading

Finalization of proposed changes to Volcker Rule begins

On August 20, 2019, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) became the first two of the five agencies required to approve final amendments to the Volcker Rule that were proposed last year. Our blog post on the proposal may be accessed here. Highlights of the final rule include … Continue Reading

Cryptocurrency exchange intends to raise $130 Million through an IPO

On August 19, 2019, INX Limited (together with its affiliates, “INX”) filed a Form F-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) stating their intention to raise up to approximately $130 million through a registered initial public offering (“IPO”). If approved by the SEC, this would be the first security token sale registered with the … Continue Reading

United States imposes additional sanctions involving Russia and Venezuela

The US Government recently imposed additional economic sanctions with respect to Russia and Venezuela. Norton Rose Fulbright has prepared legal updates discussing these developments: US imposes second round of CBW Act sanctions on Russia, authored by Partners Stefan Reisinger and Steven McNabb, Senior Counsel Kimberly Caine, and Associate Wenda Tang in our Washington DC Office. … Continue Reading

US bank regulators extend Volcker Rule no-action position for certain non-US funds

On July 17, 2019, the time period for a no-action position with respect to enforcement action under the Volcker Rule for certain non-US funds was extended for two more years. On July 21, 2017, the Federal Reserve Board, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “US Banking Agencies”), issued … Continue Reading

Liability Rumblings Along the Blockchain

When parties conduct transactions via blockchain technology, they may find themselves in relationships to one another that the law has not yet had the opportunity to clearly define. In a recent New York Law Journal column, Robert Schwinger, a partner in the New York office of Norton Rose Fulbright, discusses how Courts, commentators, governmental officials, … Continue Reading

Latest issue of Global Asset Management Quarterly now available

Issue 12 of the Norton Rose Fulbright Global Asset Management Quarterly is now available. You can also register to automatically receive each issue as it is released. This publication highlights key developments that will be of interest to, and affect, our asset management clients, including market trends and developments in tax and buy-side regulation globally. … Continue Reading

New monthly securities regulatory publication now available

Glen Barrentine, who recently joined as Of Counsel in the New York Office of Norton Rose Fulbright, has extensive experience in regulatory, compliance and enforcement issues affecting financial service companies, particularly broker-dealers, investment advisers, municipal advisors, and securities exchanges. He prepares a monthly update on FINRA (and selected SEC) regulatory matters at a glance, focusing … Continue Reading

US regulators finalize 2018 legislation-mandated Volcker Rule amendments

On July 9, 2019, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (collectively, the Agencies), announced that it had finalized a February 2019 proposed rule to make two amendments to … Continue Reading

SEC and FINRA address digital asset custody issues

The unique manner in which digital asset securities are issued, held and transferred makes them inevitably prone to unique concerns compared to traditional securities. As expected, these concerns have triggered conversation among market participants regarding whether and how traditional federal securities laws apply to novel digital asset securities and transactions. On July 8, 2019, the … Continue Reading

FinCEN issues advisory and guidance on virtual currency

On May 9, 2019, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the U.S. anti-money laundering (AML) agency, announced issuance of both Guidance and an Advisory on how transactions involving convertible virtual currencies (CVCs) would be subject to FinCEN’s money services business (MSB) regulations. FinCEN characterized the Guidance as a consolidation of its regulations, previous guidance and … Continue Reading

NRF overview of US sanctions laws and regulations now available

The US sanctions landscape keeps changing rapidly. More than ever, both US and non-companies need to understand the various types of US sanctions and their potential influence on the global matrix of business risks, and stay abreast of key developments so that they can nimbly anticipate and prepare their business to respond to emergent US … Continue Reading

SEC sues Kik for its US$100m ICO

On June 4, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed a complaint against Kik Interactive, Inc. (“Kik”), which owns and operates a mobile messaging application called Kik Messenger, in connection with its 2017 initial coin offering (“ICO”) that raised over $100 million; more than $55 million of which came from U.S. investors. The SEC … Continue Reading

SEC Adopts Regulation Best Interest Increasing Broker-Dealer Standards of Care and Disclosure Obligations

On June 5, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced it had adopted a number of rulemakings and interpretations aimed at tightening the standards of care governing broker-dealers and investment advisers and clarifying the duties of broker-dealers and investment advisers in providing investment advice. Rulemaking The SEC issued two final rules: (i) the new … Continue Reading

US Senate Confirms Heath Tarbert as New CFTC Chairman

On June 5, 2019, the U.S. Senate voted 84-9 to confirm Dr. Heath P. Tarbert as the new Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”). Dr. Tarbert currently serves as the Acting Under Secretary for International Affairs for the U.S. Treasury Department. His previous government experience includes roles as Special Counsel to the Senate … Continue Reading
LexBlog