Politics, Legal & Regulation

Policy and regulations impacting innovations in Finance.

Lagarde: ECB Has Created “Expert Task Force” to Study Feasibility and Risks of Central Bank Digital Currencies

Former IMF managing director and newly-appointed president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, says Europe’s central bank has set up a special committee to study the feasibility and “unintended side effects” of a central bank digital currency. Lagarde made the comments at the… Read More

Not Good Enough: UK FCA Says Competition for Savers Must be Better, Interest Rates More Transparent

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a consultation on the competition for savings and ISA accounts. The FCA has previously raised concerns regarding interest rates paid to consumers who tend to remain with a financial institution even though their money may generate a… Read More

SEC Compliance Office 2020 Examination Priorities Mostly Same When it Comes to Cryptocurrencies

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) has released its 2020 Examination Priorities report. For the most part, there will be much business as usual at the OCIE, and the division will continue in 2020 to, “…prioritize the examination of certain practices, products, and… Read More

Dancing with Howey: Telegram’s Recent Public Notice on TON Blockchain

On Monday, Telegram, makers of the popular private messaging app Telegram, issued a public notice to, “clarify certain aspects of the TON Blockchain and Grams,” as the company, “continue(s) to prepare for a successful launch of the project.” TON is intended to function as a… Read More

On the Record: IMF Chief Economist Says CBDCs Won’t Supplant the US Dollar & Synthetic Hegemonic Currencies are “Improbable”

There has been a good amount of discussion regarding Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) – digital iterations of the Euro, Dollar etc. Many central banks are experimenting with the concept. Another thought-provoking idea is the creation of a “synthetic hegemonic currency” as proposed by the… Read More

Turkey’s Capital Markets Board Is Planning to Regulate Cryptocurrency Transactions

Turkey’s Capital Markets Board is reportedly planning to regulate cryptocurrency-related transactions. The Capital Markets Board of Turkey (CMB), the regulatory agency that oversees the nation’s financial securities markets, is in the process of formulating guidelines to examine, audit, and regulate the local digital asset markets,… Read More

The House Financial Services Committee Fintech Task Force Schedules Hearing on Relevance of Cash

The House Financial Services Committee has published its schedule of hearings for the month of January. Included in the mix, is a gathering of the Fintech Task Force, a relatively new entity created by Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters. The Fintech Task Force will review the… Read More

Former Member of SEC’s Cyber Unit Comments on Telegram Enforcement Action: Did Telegram Fully Comply with Reg D?

Telegram, issuer of one of the highest-profile token offerings of all time that raised $1.7 billion, is in the midst of a protracted legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Last October, the SEC filed an emergency action and obtained a temporary restraining… Read More

Judge Allows Telegram to Submit Proposed Banking Disclosure Schedule in SEC Enforcement Case

The judge presiding over an SEC case alleging Telegram sold unlicensed securities has denied the SEC’s request for immediate disclosure of bank records relating to Telegram’s $1.7 billion sale of GRAM cryptographic tokens. Instead, Judge P. Kevin Castel has ordered the private messaging company to, “set… Read More

Bank for International Settlements: Distributed Ledger Technology Could Improve Wholesale Settlements with Digital Tokens

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) recently published a paper on blockchain or “distributed ledger technology” (DLT) claiming that the technology could be used to create “digital tokens” to effect settlements in wholesale transactions. Produced by the BIS Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, the… Read More

Have Your Say: The SEC is Accepting Feedback on Update to the Definition of an Accredited Investor

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is on the cusp of a significant update to the definition of an accredited investor (AI). Depending on the final rules, the Commission could broadly expand access to private securities offerings – a sector of the capital markets that… Read More

European Central Bank Publishes Paper on Advantages and Risks Associated with CBDCs

CBDCs Could Disintermediate in a Structural Way the Banking System. The European Central Bank (ECB) has published a paper on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).  CBDCs are the state form of stablecoins – cryptocurrency based off a single asset like the Dollar, Euro or Pound… Read More

SEC Seeking to Compel Bank Records Regarding Telegram’s $1.7 Billion Token Sale

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has asked a judge to order Telegram to submit bank records detailing how it has been spending $1.7 billion USD it raised from investors in 2018, Finance Magnates(FM) reports. Telegram is currently contesting emergency orders obtained by the… Read More

Bundesbank President and ECB Councillor Jens Weidmann: Facebook’s Libra Compels Governments to Ensure Competition, Not Create State Cryptocurrency

Jens Weidmann, President of Germany’s central bank (Bundesbank) and a governing councilor at the European Central Bank (ECB), told Handelsblatt this week that much needs to be understood before central banks should get into issuing a digital currency like Facebook’s Libra or Bitcoin, commonly referred… Read More

U.S. Law Firm Sued for Advising “Crypto Assets are Not Securities”

A Delaware-registered company called Digital Capital Management is suing law firm Faegre Baker Daniels for allegedly providing “erroneous” legal advice in 2017 that greenlit establishment of a cryptocurrency/digital token investment fund. The story was broken by Bloomberg Law. The fund, Crypto Asset Management LLC (CAM),… Read More

Beginning Next Week, the FCA Expects “Cryptoasset Businesses” to Be Compliant Under AML/CFT Rules

Starting on Friday, January 10, 2020, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) expects all “cryptoasset businesses” (IE VASPs, Digital Asset firms etc.) to be compliant under Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorist Financing (CFT) rules. The FCA is the main securities regulator in the UK… Read More

Report: “Virtual Asset Services” Banned in Qatar

International Investment (II) is reporting that Qatar’s financial regulator, the QFC, has banned the use of cryptocurrencies in the region. The ban appears to be comprehensive. It covers, “anything of value that acts as a substitute for currency, that can be digitally traded or transferred… Read More

Cryptocurrency Programmer Accused of Aiding North Korea Released on $1 Million Bail

Virgil Griffith, an Ethereum programmer accused of advising North Korea on how to using cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions, has been released on $1 million bail in New York. The case is being covered in-person by the Inner City Press: “Upshot: for Virgil Griffith, SDNY Judge Broderick… Read More

Consortium Including Razer Fintech and Supermarket Chain Sheng Siong’s Founders File Application for Digital Full-Bank License in Singapore

A consortium, which includes Fintech firm Razer and the founders of Sheng Siong, has reportedly filed an application for obtaining a digital full-bank license in Singapore. The application notes that the consortium wants to mainly focus on the “underserved youth and millennials segment.” Insurance business… Read More

Report: Paraguay Consolidating Cryptocurrency Industry Oversight

Paraguay’s Secretary for Preventing Money and Property Laundering (SEPRELAD) has ordered all Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) in the country to submit to a “mass audit” of the sector and, “to open their books to the government for the first time,” Born 2 Invest (B2I) reports. The… Read More

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