Author Archives: Ryan Clements

Safe Until They Aren’t? Investigating Liquidity Illusions in the Exchange Traded Fund Market

By | December 6, 2018

Since the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC) exchange traded funds (ETFs) have experienced remarkable growth.[1] A recent Bloomberg report pegs the worldwide ETF market at over $5.3 trillion (up from $700 billion pre-GFC) with the U.S. accounting for nearly 70 percent of its size.[2] The number of available products has grown exponentially.[3] Product variety seems… Read More »

Can a Cryptocurrency Self-Regulatory Organization Work? Assessing Its Promise and Likely Challenges

By | June 21, 2018

The U.S. regulatory framework for cryptocurrency (including federal securities compliance,[1] spot exchange registration,[2] and new derivative product listings[3]) continues to slowly evolve as government agencies increase their familiarity with the technology and dissect its associated risks.[4]  Nevertheless, despite recent guidance statements issued by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC); the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC);… Read More »

If We Can, Does It Mean That We Should?  Volatility Linked ETPs and The Recent Crash

By | February 10, 2018

Market participants around the world are still reeling from this week’s wild ride that saw major U.S. indexes drop more than 5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average swing by at least 1,000 points in all but one day. Early causal assessments pointed to the threat of rising interest rates and inflation, political uncertainty in… 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 »

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 »

Is an ICO a Sale of Securities? An Analysis of The DAO Offering

By | August 24, 2017

Initial Coin Offerings (also referred to as “ICOs” or “token sales”) are presenting new challenges for regulators in determining the application of securities laws. Until recently, the ICO market was unrestrained by law or regulation; inhibited only by investor appetite. But last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), threw cold water on the ICO… Read More »