On February 15, 2022, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs (“Senate Banking Committee”) hosted a virtual hearing entitled, “Examining the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets Report on Stablecoins.” The hearing focused on the Report on Stablecoins (crypto-assets pegged to real assets, usually the U.S. dollar), that was issued by the President’s Working Group on Financial…

In response to ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine, U.S. authorities have imposed several tranches of new sanctions against Russia, particularly against Russia’s financial industry, including its major banks and the Central Bank of Russia. On February 26, President Biden and leaders of other European countries announced their intention to remove certain Russian banks from the SWIFT financial messaging system,…

On February 9, 2022, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (“Senate Agriculture Committee”) hosted a virtual hearing entitled, “Examining Digital Assets: Risks, Regulation, and Innovation.”  The hearing focused on potentially expanding the scope of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”)’s regulatory authority to cover digital asset commodities.   The hearing is indicative of a broader interest of the Senate…

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have exploded in popularity and caught the public’s attention in the last year or two. But what is the hype all about, and what risks do participants in the market face? In this program, our blockchain experts explored the development and evolution of NFTs and NFT marketplaces, as well as considered legal and non-legal risks that arise…

On February 15, 2022, House Financial Services Committee member Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) released a discussion draft of a bill (the “bill”) that would create bank-like regulation for stablecoin issuers. (We covered an earlier draft of this bill in our recent post.) Rep. Gottheimer said the bill, titled the Stablecoin Innovation and Protection Act of 2022, is designed to encourage…

On Tuesday, February 8, in two separate rulings, a California federal district court upheld the “valid when made” rules promulgated by the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), against challenges brought by the Attorneys General for several states.[1] We previously discussed the significance of the OCC’s then-proposed rule to provide certainty to…

Originally Published: February 17, 2022 Update: February 22, 2022 Last week, in a speech at the U.S Monetary Policy Forum in New York, FRB Governor Lael Brainard continued to tout the potential of a CBDC in the U.S. digital payment infrastructure, while also highlighting potential risks. Though the topics she discussed reiterated key issues, Governor Brainard highlighted a number of topics…

On February 8, 2022, the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services (“HFS”) hosted a virtual hearing entitled, “Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: The President’s Working Group on Financial Markets’ Report on Stablecoins.”  The hearing focused on the Report on Stablecoins, which are crypto-assets pegged to real assets (usually the U.S. dollar), that the President’s Working Group on Financial…

One of the biggest regulatory barriers facing cryptocurrency and fintech companies is inconsistency across regimes. In September 2021, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (“CSBS”) attempted to remove one of these barriers, the lack of uniformity in money transmission regulation, with its Money Transmission Modernization Act (the “CSBS Act”). Money transmitters are currently regulated separately under state and federal law.…

Although the policy outlook remains uncertain, more policymakers are encouraging bank-like regulation for stablecoin issuers. Following on the November 2021 stablecoin report (the “Stablecoin Report”) issued by the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which recommended new stablecoin legislation, Congressional Democrats, led by House Financial…