SEC Stands Firm Against New Bitcoin ETF Proposals

By | January 12, 2018

The New Year has seen the Securities and Exchange Commission break out its best Dikembe Mutombo finger wag impersonation for those seeking to list a Bitcoin related exchange traded fund (ETF). According to the SEC’s EDGAR database, seven different Bitcoin ETF proposals were withdrawn just this week at the request of SEC staff. The SEC’s… Read More »

Regulating Initial Coin Offerings: The SEC Gets All the Attention, But the CFTC Has the Stronger Case

By | January 10, 2018

The rise of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to finance the development of blockchain applications has captured the public imagination.[1] This method of obtaining startup capital raised over $3 Billion in 2017.[2] Naturally, as ICOs have generated more and more money for developers, they have come under increased regulatory scrutiny in the United States and abroad.[3]… Read More »

For Bitcoin Futures, the CFTC Defends the Indefensible

By | January 4, 2018

In a previous blog post, I criticized the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s decision to allow the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) to self-certify Bitcoin futures contract. Self-certification allows designated contract markets (DCMs)[1] to list new futures contracts one day after submitting documentation to the CFTC that demonstrates the new… Read More »

The Case for a Cryptocurrency Market Bubble

By | November 22, 2017

Courtesy of Lee Reiners, Ryan Clements, and Sean Semmler Predicting the future price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is a fool’s errand. If you believe otherwise, take a look at BitcoinObituaries.com, which provides a running list of articles from publications such as The Economist and The Wall Street Journal that proclaim the end of Bitcoin… Read More »

New CFTC Primer Casts Uncertainty on Unregulated Utility Token Market. Is This An Application of Goodhart’s Law?

By | November 13, 2017

On July 25th, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), citing the long established “Howey Test”[1] and other cases,[2] determined that a public offering of digital tokens known as “the DAO” was in fact an offering of securities that was subject to federal law. While this ruling temporarily quelled an otherwise raging initial coin offering (ICO)… Read More »

Signs of Life for Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation

By | October 9, 2017

Courtesy of Barbara C. Matthews Implementing post-crisis reforms has created strains for the transatlantic regulatory policy community.  The large number of technical standards across all major areas of the financial system collided with increased efforts to assert national policy priorities.  Policy discord particularly dominated discussion of derivatives regulation, regulatory capital for banks, securitization, and cross-border… Read More »

Comptroller’s Remarks Indicate the Fintech Charter Could Lead to Mixing of Banking and Commerce

By | October 2, 2017

Drowned out by yet another busy news cycle last week were Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika’s remarks at a fintech conference held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. However, these comments should not be overlooked, as they have the potential to upend the banking industry in this country by tearing down the… Read More »

Decoding The Demand For Cryptocurrency: What Is Driving The Historic Price Surge?

By | September 26, 2017

2017 has been the year of cryptocurrency – with Bitcoin, Ethereum and other popular digital currencies experiencing unprecedented growth.  Bloomberg recently reported that the price increase in Bitcoin and Ethereum (respectively 358 and 4000 percent) has been “staggering” considering “[t]ech stocks rose just over 1000 percent over the entire course of their [late-’90s] bubble.” As… Read More »