Blockchain and Financial Services Blog

Showing 11 posts by Courtney Rogers Perrin.

Cryptocurrency or a Security? Only the Jury Knows for Sure

As anyone launching an initial coin offering (ICO), token-generation event or whatever else they want to call it knows well—whether a token offering is a security or a cryptocurrency is a hot topic. The SEC seems to indicate many tokens are securities, while FinCEN says cryptocurrencies. Until recently, few courts have had the opportunity to weigh in on the matter. But on September 11, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, in United States v. Zaslavskiy, issued a Memorandum & Order (the "Order") on the defendant’s motion to dismiss. Read More ›

Blockchain Update: SEC Order Interrupts the Munchee ICO

SEC issues cease-and-desist order two days into the Munchee ICO, a sign the Commission is inching toward a new regulatory framework for ICOs. Read More ›

It Begins: The First ICO-Related Securities Litigation Has Been Filed - and There are Lessons in it for Those Hoping to File Their Own ICO

On October 25, Plaintiff, Andrew Baker filed a proposed class action against Dynamic Ledger Solutions, Inc. (“DLS”) and several other related entities (“Defendants”) regarding an initial coin offering (“ICO”) for tokens known as “Tezzies.” While time and the courts will determine the merits of the class action, given the increasing popularity of ICOs, there are lessons to be learned from the accusations, both for aspiring ICOs and potential investors. Read More ›

2017 Shaping Up to be a Busy Year for State-Level Blockchain Legislation

The first states to officially begin regulating blockchain technology and business did so in 2014, when a guidance document[1] from the Texas Department of Banking excluding blockchain activity from the state’s money transmitter laws kicked off a chain of similar opinions in other jurisdictions. Since then, at least 26 states—ranging from Alaska to West Virginia—have either introduced or enacted legislation regulating blockchain in some manner. The past seven months have seen the marked growth of legislative activity in the blockchain space, and at least sixteen bills have been enacted or proposed so far this year.[2]

[1] Texas Department of Banking, Supervisory Memorandum 1037, Regulatory Treatment of Virtual Currencies Under the Texas Money Services Act (April 3, 2014), available at http://www.dob.texas.gov/public/uploads/files/consumer-information/sm1037.pdf.

[2] As of July 27, 2017. Read More ›

What Prepaid Accounts Are Subject to the New Prepaid Rules? What you need to know to be ready.

Prepaid cards are increasingly popular—they are frequently used instead of traditional bank accounts to shop, withdraw cash from ATMs, pay for healthcare costs from health savings accounts, distribute natural disaster aid, and pay wages. Read More ›

New Hampshire Takes Steps to Exempt Virtual Currency Transfers from Its Licensing Regime

New Hampshire legislators may exempt people who provide money transfer services for virtual currency, such as bitcoin, from being considered “money transmitters” for the purposes of the state’s licensing requirements. Specifically, the bill, HB436, would amend the definitions section (RSA 399-G:1) and the exemptions (RSA 399-G:3).  As modified, the definitions would clearly define what a “virtual currency” is.  The amended version would also create a new licensing exemption for “[p]ersons conducting business using transactions conducted in whole or in part in virtual currency.” Read More ›

New York’s DFS Narrows Proposed Cybersecurity Regulations

On September 13, 2016, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) issued  proposed cybersecurity regulations (“Original Proposed Regulations”) that would impose new, stringent cybersecurity requirements on banks, money transmitters, insurance companies, and other financial service providers regulated by the NYDFS (collectively, “Regulated Institutions”). Read More ›

Fintech Companies are No Longer in “Uncharted” Territory

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a subset of the U.S. Treasury Department, recently announced that it will create a special purpose national bank charter specifically for financial technology (fintech) companies. This announcement comes on the heels of the rapid rise in fintech and in the number of companies that use such technology. An official charter aims to supervise the more than 4,000 fintech companies more closely and provide a framework for new companies to operate in the financial services industry.  Read More ›

It’s EZ as 1, 2, 3 . . . Disclosure, limited liability and periodic statements required for prepaid accounts under the CFPB’s new Prepaid Rule amending Regulations E and Z

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued a final rule, the “Prepaid Rule,” amending Regulations E and Z. The Prepaid Rule affects issuers of prepaid personal, household or family accounts by expanding the applicability of Regulations E and Z as of October 1, 2017. It brings “prepaid accounts” into Regulation E’s definition of “account” and broadens the reach of Regulation Z’s overdraft credit features. While this rule applies to digital wallets and P2P payments, the CFPB did not extend this rule to virtual currency. Read More ›

Considerations For A Legislative Definition of “Blockchain”

It seems like everyone is discussing “blockchain,” but few have taken the time to really define what blockchain is (and is not). In particular, the federal government has not reached a consensus on what the term should mean. Recently a group of blockchain experts from academia, private practice, and government relations sat down together to do just that—define “blockchain” – at the Blockchain Definition on Capitol Hill event, hosted by MIT Media Lab, Congressman David Schweikert, the Chamber of Digital Commerce, and the DC Blockchain Center.   This article shares one definition which was submitted for consideration at the event.  Read More ›

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