Posts from January 2019.
Time 3 Minute Read

A vigorous competition among the states to regulate digital assets has begun to develop. Some states, such as New York, have adopted regulations that take a very proscriptive approach to regulation in the interest of consumer protection. States like Wyoming, on the other hand, see an opportunity to stimulate the local economy and take a far more permissive view of digital assets. Two bills now under consideration by the Wyoming Legislature seek to further expand the digital asset economy in the state.

Time 7 Minute Read

Not only do operators of virtual currency businesses face a growing body of overlapping federal regulations, but they must also contend with a patchwork of state laws as well. Compliance with state money transmitter laws, which typically provide for licensure and supervision of various non-bank financial services companies that handle cash on behalf of consumers, has become a hot-button issue for members of the crypto community. A few states, such as New York with its BitLicense regime, have developed very specific regulations for cryptocurrency businesses. Other states are silent on the issue and have not issued any specific regulations or interpretive guidance, leaving the industry to speculate as to the proper interpretation of the law in those states. Texas falls into a third category of states that have issued interpretive guidance (but not formal regulations) to apply their existing money transmitter statutes to operators of virtual currencies. Recent guidance from the Texas Department of Banking provides a thoughtful discussion of the virtual currency industry and interprets the Texas Money Services Act (the “Act”) for operators of virtual currency businesses doing business in the state.

Time 3 Minute Read

The year 2018 was a busy one for the SEC in the digital asset space, with the agency cementing its role as the primary de facto regulator of crypto finance in the United States.  The SEC’s enforcement division was operating at full speed, bringing a series of enforcement cases in the crypto space with an emphasis on fraud and scams involving digital assets.  Notably, the SEC brought first of its kind cases involving digital securities against an unregistered broker-dealer, an unregistered investment company and an unregistered token exchange.  The SEC also took action against an airdrop of securities, while at the same time providing general guidance on when the federal securities laws apply in the first place.

The Hunton Andrews Kurth Blockchain Blog features opinions and legal analysis as we follow the development and use of distributed ledger technology known as the blockchain.

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