2019 was a year of significant regulatory and legal developments in digital currency + blockchain. The SEC issued its most comprehensive guidance to date with its Framework for “Investment Contract” Analysis of Digital Assets, followed that up with three “no action” letters for projects that in its view complied with the federal securities laws, and intensified its focus on initial coin offerings (“ICOs”) conducted in 2017 and 2018 with a series of settlements and enforcement actions. The DOJ brought criminal charges for fraud and money laundering in connection with sales of digital currencies. New York state regulators were active in regulating cryptocurrency exchanges and issuers through enforcement actions and licensing determinations. Courts continued to consider whether digital assets are securities under federal and state securities laws.
In our inaugural review of U.S. regulatory and legal developments in digital currency + blockchain, we look at each of these developments in detail. 2020 is already off to a busy start–highlighted by the recent decision in the SEC enforcement action against Telegram Group–and we will provide an update on developments this year in future publications.
To view the publication, click here.