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Fintech

  • May 16, 2019

    Regulators Nearing Finish Line On Banking Relief Bill

    Federal banking regulators told House lawmakers Thursday that they’re expecting to finish writing rules implementing last year’s banking regulatory relief bill by the end of 2019, should soon have more updates on Volcker rule reform and could move to address the Second Circuit’s controversial Madden decision.

  • May 16, 2019

    Mizuho Bank Dodges Another Mt. Gox Bitcoin Buyer Suit

    Mizuho Bank Ltd. is no longer facing a Californian's lawsuit over the collapse of the bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, marking yet another successful escape from claims that it improperly halted international withdrawals from the exchange.

  • May 16, 2019

    Lowenstein-Led Fintech Firm OpenFin Scores $17M Fundraise

    Financial technology firm OpenFin said Thursday a group of high-profile investors spearheaded by Wells Fargo poured $17 million into a recent funding round, giving the Lowenstein Sandler-led company additional resources to improve its finance-focused desktop operating system.

  • May 16, 2019

    Investors Knew Risks Ahead Of $125M Fine, MoneyGram Says

    MoneyGram International Inc. told an Illinois federal court Thursday that it has always been upfront with investors about the costs and challenges of making its anti-fraud and anti-money laundering compliance programs meet the expectations of government regulators, no matter what a securities suit says.

  • May 16, 2019

    Feds Want At Least 2½ Years For ICO Fraudster

    Federal prosecutors told a New York federal judge that a cryptocurrency entrepreneur should serve at least 2½ years in prison for issuing two fraudulent initial coin offerings in what is one of the first criminal cases to consider the applicability of federal securities laws to digital tokens.

  • May 15, 2019

    FTC To Crack Down On Cos. That Buy Data From Scammers

    A high-ranking official at the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that the agency is cracking down on companies that purchase consumer data gathered through online scams, funding what he called an ecosystem of deceit on the internet.

  • May 15, 2019

    DLA Piper Announces New Artificial Intelligence Practice

    DLA Piper has launched an international artificial intelligence practice focusing on "emerging and disruptive" technologies and their accompanying legal and compliance risks, the firm announced Tuesday.

  • May 15, 2019

    NY Ruling Could Dampen Fintech Charter Interest, OCC Says

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said Wednesday that interest from potential applicants in its fintech charter may cool now that New York's challenge to the charter has cleared an initial hurdle in federal court.

  • May 15, 2019

    Misconduct Claims Mount Against Fla. Financial Regulator

    The troubles appear to be increasing for Florida's chief financial regulator, as a sexual harassment claim was followed by new allegations that he told a job applicant that Tallahassee has too many "rednecks" and brought up the sex exploits of the "Wolf of Wall Street" stock trader during a staff meeting.

  • May 15, 2019

    1st Convicted Spoofer's New Data Doesn't Secure New Trial

    An Illinois federal court won't allow a retrial for the first person to be convicted of spoofing the commodities markets, finding Wednesday that the former trader's "newly discovered evidence" was unlikely to change the outcome of the case.

  • May 15, 2019

    UAE Fintech Finablr Prices $400M IPO On London Exchange

    Finablr, a United Arab Emirates-based payment processor and foreign exchange provider, said Wednesday it priced an initial public offering that will raise £306 million ($400 million) on the London Stock Exchange.

  • May 15, 2019

    Ex-Locke Atty Tries To Quash Evidence In Crypto Scam Case

    Former Locke Lord LLP attorney Mark S. Scott has urged a New York federal court to exclude evidence seized from his properties in the government’s case over his alleged role in laundering proceeds of a $400 million cryptocurrency scam, claiming the search warrants and affidavits were unconstitutional.

  • May 15, 2019

    'Smooth-Talking' Binary Options Fraudster Facing Up To 7 Yrs.

    Federal prosecutors have asked a New York federal judge to sentence the “smooth-talking” fraudster behind a $1.5 million binary options scheme to between 70 and 87 months in prison and force him to repay the amount in full.

  • May 14, 2019

    Shearman Brings On Former FINRA Enforcement Director

    Shearman & Sterling is growing its litigation and enforcement practice with the addition of a former enforcement supervisor with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

  • May 14, 2019

    Goodwin Hires Calif. Ex-Prosecutor From Baker McKenzie

    A former longtime white collar prosecutor in Northern California has moved from Baker McKenzie to Goodwin Procter LLP, where he will represent clients in fintech and white collar matters, the firm announced Monday.

  • May 14, 2019

    FINRA Overhauling Digital System To Better Serve Brokerages

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is updating its digital platform for brokerage firms in a wide-ranging effort dubbed the Digital Experience Transformation aimed at simplifying and integrating their interactions with the organization, it announced Tuesday.

  • May 14, 2019

    Blockchain Investor Settles Regulators' False Adviser Claims

    Securities regulators for the U.S. and Canada each disclosed agreements on Tuesday with a blockchain-focused investment firm and its co-founder for misleading investors about the firm's advisers.

  • May 14, 2019

    Hong Kong, Thai Regulators Push Fintech Collaboration

    Hong Kong and Thai banking regulators on Tuesday announced plans to support the growth of financial technology in each other's jurisdictions, in the latest of several cross-border pacts pushing fintech innovation.

  • May 14, 2019

    TD Ameritrade Ducks Class Action Over Investment Strategy

    TD Ameritrade and an Indiana investment advisory firm escaped a putative investor class action over a deceptively risky trading strategy Monday after an Illinois federal judge ruled the investors are barred by federal law from bringing state law class action claims.

  • May 13, 2019

    Mayweather, DJ Khaled Escape ICO Investor Fraud Suit

    Boxing champ Floyd Mayweather and musician-turned-media personality DJ Khaled were among four people who dodged a suit claiming they fraudulently enticed investors to participate in the initial coin offering for the now-shuttered cryptocurrency company Centra Tech Inc.

  • May 13, 2019

    Silicon Valley GC Takes Helm At Calif. Finance Regulator

    The former general counsel and chief compliance officer at startup microloan company Affirm Inc. left the fintech community in Silicon Valley on Monday to regulate securities and banks registered in the state of California.

  • May 13, 2019

    Congress May Need To Weigh In On Unresolved Crypto Issues

    Federal regulators will likely need Congress to resolve some large unanswered questions in the cryptocurrency space in order for the industry to move forward with regulatory clarity, experts said at a conference on Monday.

  • May 13, 2019

    Identity Politics: How Firms Seal The Deal After A Merger

    As regional firms join forces with large national firms, they must decide how important it is to maintain those identities. Ultimately, choices on everything from the firm’s name to local office culture must ensure old clients aren’t left behind.

  • May 13, 2019

    The Dangers Of BigLaw's Merger-Happy Growth Strategy

    There are those who say large law firms can at times be like lemmings, playing a dangerous game of follow-the-leader with their peers. A record-breaking year for law firm mergers in 2018, which has driven drastic head count growth, is one example of that, some observers say.

  • May 13, 2019

    Trader Asks To Arbitrate Treasury Market Spoofing Claims

    Chicago-based Allston Trading LLC asked an Illinois federal judge Friday to force a former competitor to arbitrate claims that the market maker spoofed U.S. Treasury markets by placing large orders for treasury instruments it never intended to fill.

Expert Analysis

  • ICOs As Exempt Securities Offerings: An Economic Analysis

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    Assuming that initial coin offerings are securities offerings, issuers must register them with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission unless they rely on an exemption from registration. Among the available exemptions from registration, three look well-suited for ICOs, say members of Bates White LLC and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.

  • Limiting Law Firms' Professional Liability Risks: Part 1

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    Corporate law departments are increasingly demanding more concessions from outside legal counsel, and presenting engagement letters that open the door to greater professional and cyber liability exposure for law firms — often beyond the scope of their insurance coverage. Firms must add their own language to engagement letters to limit liability, say Stuart Pattison and John Muller of Sompo International Holdings Ltd.

  • Checkbook IRAs And Digital Assets: A Bet Against The House

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    Since a 2014 tax ruling that permits holding digital currency in tax-deferred retirement accounts, investment companies have sprung up encouraging people to roll their traditional retirement investments into cryptocurrencies. But investment vehicles of dubious legality may lead to loss of tax deferral and penalties for early withdrawal, says Seth Pierce at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLC.

  • New Clarity On SEC’s Approach To Crypto Regulation

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    Remarks made last week by a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission official ended long-standing speculation over whether the SEC would assert jurisdiction over ether and bitcoin. The remarks also leave no doubt that the SEC aims to remain active in the digital currency markets, focusing on initial coin offerings, say attorneys with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

  • Ripple Labs Case Will Address Key Cryptocurrency Question

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    Do cryptocurrencies that function primarily as a medium of exchange qualify as securities? An answer may be coming sooner than expected — not from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission but from a California federal court in Coffey v. Ripple Labs, says Christian Everdell, counsel at Cohen & Gresser LLP and a former assistant U.S. attorney.

  • Unique Considerations In Cryptocurrency Estate Planning

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    Security features unique to cryptocurrency put investors at risk of losing such assets upon incapacity or death. Understanding these features and crafting a plan that addresses certain important factors will help assure digital assets are effectively passed on to heirs and beneficiaries, say Michael Kearney and Joseph Doll at Cole Schotz PC.

  • States' Crypto Enforcement Onslaught Has Only Just Begun

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    It should come as no surprise that state securities administrators have boosted their cryptocurrency enforcement efforts. Because while cryptocurrency promoters can find easy prey in today’s excitable retail investor marketplace, initial coin offerings and digital trading platforms are also easy to surveil and easy to charge, says John Reed Stark of John Reed Stark Consulting LLC.

  • Got Unreported Cryptocurrency Income? Mount A Defense

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    The Internal Revenue Service is increasingly turning its attention to taxpayers who may face criminal or civil penalties for failing to report cryptocurrency income or capital gains. Practitioners should serve such clients by first convincing them to take the risk of audit seriously and then pursuing one of several strategies, says Michael DeBlis of DeBlis Law.

  • Analyzing The Economics Of Litigation Funding

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    The growth of litigation funding has only increased the controversy surrounding it. Looking to move beyond the rhetoric for and against the practice, attorney and investment analytics expert J.B. Heaton, of J.B. Heaton PC and Conjecture LLC, attempts an objective analysis of the underlying economics of the litigation funding arrangement.

  • Crypto Market Surveillance Has Arrived

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    The recent wave of spoofing and manipulation enforcement actions washing over cryptocurrency markets, aided by increasing market surveillance, may cause concern in some quarters. However, precedents in established futures and spot markets suggest that, in the long run, the market will likely see benefits from increased surveillance, say members of NERA Economic Consulting.

  • With States' Crypto Regulation, Problems Multiply

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    State securities agencies are increasingly regulating the cryptocurrency space through administrative proceedings and summary cease-and-desist orders. But the uncertainties and ambiguities in current cryptocurrency regulation mean that multistate action — even if coordinated — will create a real risk of splintered authority, says Jason Gottlieb of Morrison Cohen LLP.

  • Industry-Friendly OCC Regulations May Be On The Horizon

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    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s agenda for the next few months, as articulated by new OCC leader Joseph Otting, seems promising for the industry and may provide regulatory relief to banks in many areas. At the same time, Otting’s proposals may face legal challenges, say attorneys with Arnold & Porter.

  • How 1 Court Is Shaping The Future Of Crypto Regulation

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    The McDonnell and Zaslavskiy actions in the Eastern District of New York are initial cryptocurrency cases where government regulators are testing their jurisdictional theories. Both cases will help chart the course for future enforcement in an industry where the law has struggled to keep pace with technology, say Deborah Meshulam and Benjamin Klein of DLA Piper.

  • Opinion

    Recovering Lawyers' Lost Position Of Independence

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    In these politically divisive times, many ask whether our institutions and traditions can help us return to a greater consensus. In days long past, the legal profession could have been counted on to serve just such a function. But lawyers are now just as polarized as everyone else, says Samuel Samaro of Pashman Stein Walder Hayden PC.

  • A New Regulatory Avenue For NY Cryptocurrency Exchanges

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    Virtual currency businesses in New York should understand that they are under scrutiny even if they receive New York BitLicenses. The Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative will most likely survive the resignation and departure of former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, so businesses should proceed cautiously, says Jonathan Sorkowitz of Skarzynski Black LLC.

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