Cryptocurrency + FinTech

On August 9, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres requesting leave to file an interlocutory appeal in SEC v. Ripple Labs, Inc. as to the two adverse liability determinations in her July 13, 2023 order. That order granted partial summary judgment in Ripple Labs’ favor regarding the sale of its XRP token. As we previously discussed here, the court held in deciding cross motions for summary judgment that defendants’ “programmatic” offers and sales to XRP buyers over crypto asset trading platforms and Ripple’s “other distributions” in exchange for labor and services did not involve the offer or sale of securities under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in SEC v. W.J. Howey Co.

On August 8, the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) issued a press release providing additional information on its Novel Activities Supervision Program (Program) to monitor novel activities in the banks it oversees. Novel activities are defined to include: (1) technology-driven partnerships with non-banks to provide banking services to customers, and (2) activities involving crypto-assets and distributed ledger or “blockchain” technology. According to the Fed, “the Program will be risk-focused and complement existing supervisory processes, strengthening the oversight of novel activities conducted by supervised banking organizations.” The Fed will notify those banking organizations whose novel activities will be subject to examination in writing and will routinely monitor supervised banking organizations that are exploring novel activities.

On July 13, U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that seeks to examine the adequacy of current anti-money laundering obligations (set forth in the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)) as applied to crypto assets, crypto asset kiosks

Deceptive advertisements, market manipulation, misappropriation of customer funds, and “Ask Me Anything (AMA)” sessions served as the catalysts of a civil enforcement action the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently filed against bankrupt digital asset services provider Celsius Network LLC (Celsius) and its co-founders on July 13. This is a groundbreaking move by the FTC for two reasons. First, it marks the first time that the agency has filed suit against a digital asset-based company. Second, the FTC’s request for civil money penalties is predicated on a novel theory under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA). Alongside the FTC, the Department of Justice has filed criminal charges against ex-CEO Alexander Mashinsky, and the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have filed separate civil enforcement actions against Celsius.

On July 12, U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) reintroduced legislation, titled the Responsible Financial Innovation Act that would establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for crypto assets. This proposed bill expands on the bill the senators introduced in 2022 by adding new consumer protections and safeguards to further strengthen the industry against fraud and bad actors, among other additions.

New York’s Attorney General Letitia James has proposed landmark legislation entitled the Crypto Regulation, Protection, Transparency, and Oversight Act (CRPTO Act) in an attempt to tighten New York’s regulations on the cryptocurrency industry. The CRPTO Act aims to stop conflicts of interest, require public reporting of financial statements, and bolster investor protections. The Attorney General

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a report analyzing the use of chatbots in consumer finance and the impact on customer service. The report notes that financial institutions are increasingly using chatbots to reduce the costs of human customer service agents, and moving away from simple, rules-based chatbots toward more sophisticated technologies, such

On April 17, the Superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), Adrienne A. Harris, announced that the NYDFS adopted a final regulation establishing how companies with NYDFS-issued BitLicenses will be assessed for costs of their supervision examination.

During the public comment period for the proposed regulation, the NYDFS received four comments, but

On April 3, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it has seized virtual currency worth an estimated $112 million linked to cryptocurrency investment scams. Seizure warrants for six virtual currency accounts were authorized by judges in the District of Arizona, the Central District of California, and the District of Idaho. The virtual currency

The Federal Reserve issued a press release announcing its plans for a July debut of FedNow, its service “to facilitate nationwide reach of instant payment services by financial institutions.” As previously discussed here, the FedNow service will provide individuals and businesses the ability to send and receive instant payments through the Federal Reserve’s