Category Archives: Cryptocurrency

The Revolving Door Comes to Cryptocurrency

By | October 15, 2018

Ask any cryptocurrency company what their biggest challenge is, and they’ll likely tell you “legal and regulatory issues.” The legal and regulatory environment surrounding cryptocurrency is complex, uncertain, and changing by the day. In the U.S., no one agency has sole jurisdiction over cryptocurrency, and different agencies have varied interpretations of what cryptocurrency is (largely… Read More »

Anonymous Money is Fungible Money

By | August 23, 2018

Courtesy of Alastair Berg[1] Fungibility is a key characteristic of money.  This has long been taught to students in high school and university economics courses. A rational individual should be indifferent to exchanging one note or coin with another of equal nominal value, provided of course there are no transaction costs. some degree this characteristic… Read More »

Hedge Funds and Cryptocurrencies: a top-down analysis of Malta’s regulatory framework

By | August 16, 2018

Courtesy of Damiano Di Maio, LL.M. and Andrea Vianelli, LL.M Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are two of the hottest topics in finance. While most discussions surrounding the crypto industry revolve around the underlying technology and its potential applications in the financial industry, the regulatory treatment of crypto-assets is less discussed and remains opaque to most… Read More »

What Happens When FinTech Firms Don’t Understand Regulation?

By | June 27, 2018

This post is the third in a series that highlights various elements of a new online course titled “FinTech Law and Policy.” The course is available to all on the Coursera platform (it can be audited for free) and covers the key legal and regulatory issues confronting the FinTech industry today. The following examples highlight… 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 »

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 »