The Industry's Critique of Illinois's Digital Currency Guidance is In

A planned approach to regulating digital currencies is winning praise from industry participants, public documents reveal. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation published its initial guidance in late November as part of a broader push to create a working environment for startups working with the tech (public comments for which the state will be publishing on Monday) The digital currency guidance notably included language that, if finalized, would apply money transmission rules to companies that exchange digital and government-issued currencies, leaving firms that only deal in digital currency outside of those requirements. Elsewhere, the state said that digital currencies wouldn’t be considered ‘money’ under the...

Ex-Gemini Lawyer: SEC 'Unlikely' to Approve Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF

Ex-Gemini Lawyer: SEC 'Unlikely' to Approve Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF

One of the lawyers who helped craft the application for what would be the first-ever bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is doubtful the SEC will approve such a request any time in the near future. The critique, courtesy of former Gemini general counsel David Brill, potentially cuts deep, as his old employer’s last and final deadline to receive approval for the experimental product is on 11th March. Though Brill is quick to point out he is a “proponent” of the creation of bitcoin ETFs and pro-bitcoin regulation more broadly, the prognosis does not bode well for its success. In conversation with CoinDesk, Brill explained that he believes factors such as China’s impact on the price of bitcoin make an approval unlikely. Brill said: “It seems...

Trump's 'Acting' CFTC Chair Details Vision for Blockchain Regulation

Trump's 'Acting' CFTC Chair Details Vision for Blockchain Regulation

Donald Trump hasn’t even formally appointed CFTC commissioner Chris Giancarlo as chairman yet, and he’s already appropriated the president-elect’s slogan: “Making Market Reform Work for America.” In comments given to about 300 swaps traders, analysts and more at the SEFCON event in New York City this week, Giancarlo for the first time referred to himself in public as “acting chairman” and laid out his “agenda” going forward for the regulation of blockchain and distributed ledger tech. Reading from a prepared speech, the current CFTC commissioner yesterday reiterated his five-point plan for regulators to promote the technology, adding that if implemented successfully, he believes DLT could make regulatory...

FINRA Believes Blockchain Could Impact its Regulatory Rules

FINRA believes the widespread use of blockchain could come to impact its core business practices. The self-regulatory organization for US brokers published a new report on blockchain tech yesterday that offers both a broad overview of the tech from the context of its industry, as well as its take on its potential impact on the brokerage sector. FINRA has been open about its work on the technology (in conjunction with its members) in the past, though the release constitutes some of its most direct comments to date. Most notably, FINRA said that, should the tech see broader use in the financial system, its own rules may need to be modified or changed. As the report states: “Many FINRA rules as well as some rules implemented by other regulators (such as the...

NYDFS Fires Shots At OCC Over Fintech Regulation Charter

NYDFS Fires Shots At OCC Over Fintech Regulation Charter

The state of New York has a somewhat unusual reputation when it comes to financial regulation. The state’s regulator is not too keen on the OCC’s bank charter pan for fintech firms. Overseeing the financial technology sector is a coveted price, and a national bank charter may not be the best idea. It is unusual to see NY state go after the OCC this way, although it remains unclear how things will play out. Not too long ago, the OCC proposed their plans for a national bank charter in the fintech sector. In fact, the OCC would start accepting applications from fintech to become special -purpose national banks. These plans came to fruition after intense lobbying between fintech experts and financial institutions. This elevated status allows fintech...