FinTech & Blockchain

  • Advising a client on matters relating to digital currency-denominated securities trading.
  • Advising a client on the use of distributed ledger (blockchain) technology in the trading, clearance, and settlement of security-based swaps.
  • Advising a client on retail client disclosures for crypto-related investments.
  • Advising a client on the regulatory aspects of an Initial Coin Offering.
  • Representing a director in an SEC investigation of an Initial Coin Offering.
  • Representing a cryptocurrency fund under scrutiny from the SEC.
  • Providing regulatory and compliance counsel to a tech start-up that is disrupting the private capital formation marketplace.
  • Advising a client on the regulatory scrutiny of SAFTs.

Looking Forward

Predictions of the demise of cryptocurrency were everywhere after the Bitcoin price crash and ensuing “Crypto Winter” in 2018. But 2019 saw yet another rebound in cryptocurrency prices, demonstrating resiliency of cryptocurrency as an asset class. The cryptocurrency markets also showed maturation over the past year with the continued development of a market structure in the institutional space. We expect this maturation to continue in 2020, particularly in the areas of market data and prime brokerage.

This past year also saw continued development in the digital securities markets, but the development was uneven, mostly because of continued regulatory uncertainty. The markets witnessed the first egulation A+ digital securities offering qualified by the SEC in 20, as well as a pilot program to clear and settle digital securities on a blockchain. This coming year will likely see the continued expansion of capital raising using digital securities. The lack of SEC guidance on custody of digital securities, however, remains the primary impediment to greater issuance and trading of digital securities. Moreover, as government authorities continue to assert that crypto assets are, variously, securities, commodities, property, currency, or none of the above, the regulatory regime applicable to digital assets remains murky. Look for incremental steps towards regulatory clarity in 2020 as new crypto-focused legislation is considered at the state and federal level and as regulators respond to industry pressure for clear rules.

This past year also saw continued development in the digital securities markets, but the development was uneven, mostly because of continued regulatory uncertainty. The markets witnessed the first egulation A+ digital securities offering qualified by the SEC in 20, as well as a pilot program to clear and settle digital securities on a blockchain. This coming year will likely see the continued expansion of capital raising using digital securities. The lack of SEC guidance on custody of digital securities, however, remains the primary impediment to greater issuance and trading of digital securities. Moreover, as government authorities continue to assert that crypto assets are, variously, securities, commodities, property, currency, or none of the above, the regulatory regime applicable to digital assets remains murky. Look for incremental steps towards regulatory clarity in 2020 as new crypto-focused legislation is considered at the state and federal level and as regulators respond to industry pressure for clear rules.