Blockchain and Financial Services Blog

Showing 12 posts in Blockchain.

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 ›

Bankers, Bitcoins And the Bank Secrecy Act - A Webinar about Business Opportunities & Risks

SAVE THE DATE: August 28, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. EST

The growing importance of blockchain businesses, and particularly crypto currencies, is undeniable. Like every other important disruptive technology, think of the internet for example, there will be winners and losers among the early adopters, and serious business opportunities for “traditional” banks open to serving participants in the space. To be successful, it will be essential for crypto businesses to find financial institutions to serve their banking needs, such as the deposit of fiat money, the transfer of payments from customer and to creditors and suppliers, and potentially lending needs. But for now, while most bankers are interested, they are also worried about banking this industry of tomorrow. However, as the banking industry has proven over its long history, bankers will master the risks and rewards of servicing this new industry, and in doing so will come the capture of new sources of fee income and loan revenue. Read More ›

Ohio Enacts Law Acknowledging Blockchain Transactions and Granting Safe Harbor Protections to Eligible Businesses from Data Breach Claims

On Friday, August 3, Governor Kasich signed Ohio Senate Bill 220, which acknowledges for the first time the legitimacy of blockchain transactions as enforceable electronic transactions and creates an affirmative defense to tort actions against eligible businesses for claims relating to data breaches. The law goes into effect in 90 days. Read More ›

New York Attorney General Launches Inquiry into Cryptocurrency Exchanges

On April 17, 2018, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman (the “NY AG”) launched the “Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative” (the “Initiative”), a fact-finding inquiry into the policies and practices of platforms used by consumers to trade virtual currencies like bitcoin and ether. Read More ›

Arizona Creates Legislative Sandbox to Foster Fintech Business Growth

Many entrepreneurs and existing companies exploring opportunities in the fintech space often experience the daunting hurdles, or uncertainties, imposed by state-level regulations. Under traditional regulatory programs, the licensing process can take months and consume tens of thousands of dollars in fees, compliance costs, and legal expenses. Some startups, with thin capital reserves, face the Hobson’s Choice of blatant non-compliance or simply avoiding innovating in this important space all together. Either way, the state’s consumers and businesses are ultimately disadvantaged.  The State of Arizona recognized this common problem and very recently passed legislation to safely encourage such worthwhile business innovation. Read More ›

Op Ed: FinCEN Policy Positions Offer Murky Guidance for ICOs

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) appears to be taking steps to eliminate some of the ambiguity surrounding the status of ICOs as money services businesses (MSBs). 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 ›

Blockchain Policy Update: LabCFTC Releases “A CFTC Primer on Virtual Currencies”

The Commodity Futures Trade Commission’s (CFTC’s) recent publication of “A CFTC Primer on Virtual Currencies” indicates that cryptocurrency will remain in the CFTC’s crosshairs for the foreseeable future. Though the CFTC primer begins with a caveat—content therein should not be construed as an “official policy or position”—the document is valuable insofar as it defines virtual currencies (VCs), outlines their utilities and their potential for malfeasance. At the same time, the CFTC primer provides insight into the commission’s current thinking on cryptocurrency and may therefore portend the kind of regulatory measures and other exigencies VC developers and their counsel need to prepare for. Read More ›

Bitcoin ATMs: What They Are and How They Work

The traditional ATM is a truly ubiquitous part of our culture. Although the first American ATM was not installed until the fall of 1969 in New York City, most Americans, regardless of geography, probably cannot imagine life without the ease and convenience they provide. And this story is now likely to be repeated with Bitcoin ATMs. Read More ›

A Regulatory Primer for Bitcoin ATM Operators – Federal Law & Regulations

Most businesses must deal with federal, state, and local laws and regulations from time to time. Operators of Bitcoin ATMs are no different. For such operators, the primary regulations arise out of the federal Bank Secrecy Act (the “BSA”), as discussed below, and the state-level money transmitter laws are discussed in another article. Read More ›

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Attorney Spotlight

William T. Repasky practices with the Litigation Department at Frost Brown Todd. He focuses on lending and commercial services; banking litigation and financial institutions.

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