Category: Blockchain and Digital Currencies

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CFTC Files Charges in Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme

On September 21st, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced the filing of charges against Nicholas Gelfman and Gelfman Blueprint, Inc. (the “Defendants”) for fraud, misappropriation, and issuing false account statements in connection with solicited investments in Bitcoin.  According to the allegations asserted by the CFTC, the Defendants operated a Ponzi scheme, misappropriated funds from … Continue Reading

Cryptocurrency Platform Provider Seeks No-Action Relief from CFTC: Two Observations

On October 18th, a cryptocurrency platform provider (Poloniex, Inc.) issued a press release announcing that it filed a request for no-action relief with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) seeking request with respect to the CFTC’s laws as they relate to margin and lending transactions.  To our knowledge, this is first time that a … Continue Reading

Making Sense of the CFTC’s Enforcement Order and Settlement with Bitfinex

On June 2nd, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) announced an enforcement order and settlement with BFXNA Inc. d/b/a Bitfinex, an online platform for exchanging and trading cryptocurrencies (the “Platform”).  This posting will summarize that order with the goal of helping our readers make sense of the current state of the law with respect to … Continue Reading

Attention FinTech and Blockchain Firms: Financial Innovation Was the Talk of the Week in Regulatory Circles

In a span of 48 hours this week, two noteworthy developments occurred on the U.S. regulatory front: A major bank regulatory agency, the Office of Comptroller of Currency (the “OCC”), published Supporting Responsible Innovation in the Federal Banking System: An OCC Perspective; and A commissioner from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”), J. Christopher … Continue Reading

Doing Business With Regulated Market Participants: Why Regulations Are So Important, Even (Especially?) to the “Unregulated”

Financial technologies like the block chain and related distributed ledger platforms are the source of much discussion and debate in today’s legal and finance industry publications.  Some commentators feel that these technologies will be completely revolutionary, while other commentators feel that “the fad” will pass. … Continue Reading

CFTC to Hold Meeting of Technology Advisory Committee on January 26th to Discuss Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology

Earlier today, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) published a notice announcing that its Technology Advisory Committee (“TAC”) will hold a public meeting on January 26th to discuss issues related to blockchain and the potential application of distributed ledger technology to the derivatives market.  In addition to the blockchain related issues, the TAC will … Continue Reading

3…The Number of Weeks in a Row for Bitcoin Related CFTC Guidance…CFTC Settles With Bitcoin SEF Over Wash Sales / Prearranged Trading

On September 24th, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) settled charges against TeraExchange LLC, a provisionally registered bitcoin swap execution facility (SEF).  The charges stem from a non-deliverable forward (“NDF”) contract based on the relative value of the U.S. Dollar and Bitcoin (the Bitcoin swap) executed over that SEF. Background: Forwards and NDFs A … Continue Reading

CFTC Brings First Enforcement Action Against Unregistered Bitcoin Options Trading Platform

On September 17th, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced an enforcement order and settlement against an unregistered bitcoin options trading platform. The order is notable for six reasons: 1) It is the first official pronouncement from the CFTC that, “Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are encompassed in the definition [of a commodity under the … Continue Reading
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