As It Ramps Up Enforcement, the SEC Has Been Looking Abroad for Assistance

As It Ramps Up Enforcement, the SEC Has Been Looking Abroad for Assistance

2018 has been a hallmark year for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s enforcement against cryptocurrency companies, and, according to one director, international collaboration with other regulatory agencies has played a supporting role in the SEC’s recent regulatory actions.
VanEck, Cboe and SolidX Meet With SEC to Discuss a Bitcoin ETF

VanEck, Cboe and SolidX Meet With SEC to Discuss a Bitcoin ETF

Having met the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in August 2018, officials of VanEck, SolidX and Cboe BZX Exchange have met with the Commission again, in the latest attempt to convince the regulator to approve the nation's first bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), according to an official presentation submitted to the SEC.
“Guidance by Enforcement”: How the SEC Is Slowly Shaping ICO Regulation

“Guidance by Enforcement”: How the SEC Is Slowly Shaping ICO Regulation

On November 27, 2018, a California judge turned back the SEC’s request for an injunction against token company BlockVest, a company the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is pursuing for allegedly conducting an unregistered securities offering. The judge, however, ruled that BlockVest’s token distribution, which was conducted via airdrop, was given freely and received without expectation for returns, so it didn’t constitute an investment contract.
In Cautionary Speech, Chairman Clayton Parrots SEC’s Bitcoin ETF Concerns

In Cautionary Speech, Chairman Clayton Parrots SEC’s Bitcoin ETF Concerns

Speaking at the ongoing CoinDesk's Consensus Invest conference in New York, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton spoke on why his agency hasn’t yet approved a bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF). But the rationale behind his words is nothing his crypto-friendly audience hasn’t heard before. Clayton explained that his agency might not approve a bitcoin ETF anytime soon as the agency's issues are yet to be addressed by market operators.
New Cryptocurrency-Based ETP Arrives in Switzerland

New Cryptocurrency-Based ETP Arrives in Switzerland

Amun AG, a startup in Zug, Switzerland, has received a license from Swiss authorities to offer a new cryptocurrency exchange-traded product (ETP). An ETP is a blanket term to denote a security that derives its price from an underlying asset (e.g. a currency, commodity, stock) and is traded on a regulated stock exchange.
“We Did This With Gold”: Could VanEck Be Bitcoin’s Best Bet for an ETF?

“We Did This With Gold”: Could VanEck Be Bitcoin’s Best Bet for an ETF?

Gabor Gurbacs is confident that the approval of a bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) is inevitable. And he’s optimistic that the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Strategy will be the first to deliver one to the world. The director of Digital Asset Strategy at VanEck/MVIS, Gurbacs, as of late, has become a leading voice on the space’s ETF pursuit at a time when industry chatter on the topic has never been louder. If you haven’t found him extolling the benefits of a bitcoin ETF on Twitter, you may have come across his interviews on Anthony Pompliano’s podcast and Ran Neu-Ner’s Crypto Trader show for CNBC Africa.
ICO Issuers Settle Registration Charges With SEC

ICO Issuers Settle Registration Charges With SEC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has agreed to settle charges with two startups that sold tokens through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in 2017. The companies were charged by the SEC for running their ICOs after the regulator clearly defined such offerings as unlicensed securities in its DAO Report of Investigation. The startups indicted by the SEC are Boston-based Airfox, which sold $15 million worth of tokens, and Paragon Coin, which raised $12 million selling tokens.
New York Department of Financial Services Issues 14th BitLicense

New York Department of Financial Services Issues 14th BitLicense

Today, November 14, 2018, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced that it has approved the application of NYDIG Execution LLC, a subsidiary of NYDIG LLC, for a virtual currency license and a money transmission license. The approval of this so-called “BitLicense” or “Virtual Currency License” application is the 14th of its kind and is required under New York State law in order for a company to engage in “any Virtual Currency Business Activity.
EtherDelta Founder Charged by SEC For Operating an Unregistered Exchange

EtherDelta Founder Charged by SEC For Operating an Unregistered Exchange

In an apparent first, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged the founder of EtherDelta, Zachary Coburn, with running an “unregistered national securities exchange,” according to a press release from the regulator. “EtherDelta provided a marketplace for bringing together buyers and sellers for digital asset securities through the combined use of an order book, a website that displayed orders, and a ‘smart contract’ run on the Ethereum blockchain,” the agency noted.
SEC’s End-of-Fiscal-Year Report Reveals Heavy Action Against ICO-Related Fraud

SEC’s End-of-Fiscal-Year Report Reveals Heavy Action Against ICO-Related Fraud

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has released a report detailing actions taken against fraudulent ICOs and financial ventures, and, indeed, the year has been wrought with cases. The report details actions for 2018’s fiscal year, which ended on September 30, and offers insight into the ICO-related fraud that has seemingly come to light over the past several months.
Hong Kong Securities Regulator Promises to Regulate Crypto Investment Funds

Hong Kong Securities Regulator Promises to Regulate Crypto Investment Funds

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong has claimed that it will include crypto funds under its regulatory umbrella. The SFC issued a statement on November 1, 2018, laying out its new approach for regulating virtual assets in the future.
Indian Officials Consider Ban on “Private Cryptocurrencies”

Indian Officials Consider Ban on “Private Cryptocurrencies”

Agents of the Indian government have met to formally discuss a possible ban on private cryptocurrency holdings in the nation. On October 30, 2018, the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) issued a press release detailing their recent meeting where they “reviewed the current global and domestic economic situation and financial sector performance.

New Regulation in China to Require Blockchain Users to Register with their IDs

So far, China’s attitude towards digital currencies was oppressive, yet the country encouraged blockchain innovation. It seems like things are now changing. Recent reports indicate that China’s government has drafted a new regulation that requires users to register for blockchain services with their names and government IDs. Discouraging Blockchain Anonymity The first draft for the project was released by the country’s online regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China.
Japanese Financial Services Authority Approves Self-Regulation for Crypto

Japanese Financial Services Authority Approves Self-Regulation for Crypto

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has granted self-regulatory status to the country's cryptocurrency industry, giving the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) authority to oversee the space, according to a Reuters report. The FSA approval, which was granted on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, gives the association the power to regulate the sector, safeguard customer assets, give operational guidelines, elaborate on anti-money laundering policies and provide necessary compliance guidelines for crypto exchanges in the country.
Report: Cryptocurrencies Should Be Governed by Current EU Financial Laws

Report: Cryptocurrencies Should Be Governed by Current EU Financial Laws

The Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group (SMSG) has released a new report suggesting that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) recommend to the European Commission that it regulate the cryptocurrency space with existing legislation rather than instilling new rules and laws. The report specifies that most crypto assets are covered by the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, which regulates unfair business practices in the European Union and requires corresponding laws to be passed that incorporate it into each member state’s legal system.
Marco Santori on Airdrops and the “Complete Picture” of SAFT Regulation

Marco Santori on Airdrops and the “Complete Picture” of SAFT Regulation

Ever since the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a stern warning about initial coin offerings (ICOs) in February 2018, cryptocurrency projects have had to consider different options for distributing their tokens — and funding their development. One alternative for dispersing a token is an airdrop, where tokens are given out (for free) to the holders of an existing cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin Magazine Week in Review: Stablecoins Take the Spotlight

Bitcoin Magazine Week in Review: Stablecoins Take the Spotlight

With the exception of the SEC’s FinHub announcement, it has been a quiet week for regulatory news — something we’ve been getting a lot of recently as U.S. officials clamp down on unscrupulous coin offerings and crypto companies.
Government of Spain Considers Blockchain-Friendly Regulations

Government of Spain Considers Blockchain-Friendly Regulations

The government of Spain is preparing blockchain-friendly legislation including possible tax breaks to attract companies in the emerging blockchain technology sector, Bloomberg Politics reports.
Government of Spain Considers Blockchain-Friendly Regulations

Government of Spain Considers Blockchain-Friendly Regulations

The government of Spain is preparing blockchain-friendly legislation including possible tax breaks to attract companies in the emerging blockchain technology sector, Bloomberg Politics reports.
Korean Regulator Tips Cryptocurrency Prospects Back Toward “Normalization”

Korean Regulator Tips Cryptocurrency Prospects Back Toward “Normalization”

On February 20, 2018, investors saw signs of yet another directional shift in South Korea’s regulatory stance on cryptocurrencies. According to Reuters, Choe Heung-sik, the governor of South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), told reporters, “The whole world is now framing the outline (for cryptocurrency) and therefore (the government) should rather work more on normalization than increasing regulation.
Korean Regulator Tips Cryptocurrency Prospects Back Toward “Normalization”

Korean Regulator Tips Cryptocurrency Prospects Back Toward “Normalization”

On February 20, 2018, investors saw signs of yet another directional shift in South Korea’s regulatory stance on cryptocurrencies. According to Reuters, Choe Heung-sik, the governor of South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), told reporters, “The whole world is now framing the outline (for cryptocurrency) and therefore (the government) should rather work more on normalization than increasing regulation.
Wyoming House Unanimously Approves Two Pro-Blockchain Bills

Wyoming House Unanimously Approves Two Pro-Blockchain Bills

In a watershed moment for United States blockchain and cryptocurrency law, Wyoming’s House of Representatives unanimously voted “aye” to pass two blockchain bills – HB 70 the “utility token bill” and HB 19 the “bitcoin bill” –  sending them to the State Senate for consideration.
Wyoming House Unanimously Approves Two Pro-Blockchain Bills

Wyoming House Unanimously Approves Two Pro-Blockchain Bills

In a watershed moment for United States blockchain and cryptocurrency law, Wyoming’s House of Representatives unanimously voted “aye” to pass two blockchain bills – HB 70 the “utility token bill” and HB 19 the “bitcoin bill” –  sending them to the State Senate for consideration.
Swiss Regulator Gives Clear Guidelines for Launching ICOs

Swiss Regulator Gives Clear Guidelines for Launching ICOs

On February 16, 2018, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA put the world on notice by being the first major economy to set out clear guidelines on initial coin offerings (ICOs). In an announcement, the Swiss regulator addressed plans to apply financial market legislation to different tokens as well as lay out how ICO organizers can get proper input from FINMA when planning or launching their initial coin offerings.

CFTC Advisory Committee Recommends Creation of Virtual Currency Subcommittee

On Wednesday, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Committee’s (CFTC) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) held a public meeting at its Washington, D.C., headquarters. During the meeting, members of the Bitcoin and cryptoasset industry shared information regarding this emerging market and offered guidance on how the CFTC may approach regulating the space in 2018.