Neil J. Cohen

One of the hot topics in securities regulation and enforcement has been the question of what position the SEC will take with respect to cryptocurrencies. In the following guest post written in the form of a one-scene play, Neil J. Cohen, a lawyer and publisher of the Securities Reform Act Litigation Reporter, imagines a fictional conversation involving an SEC official discussing cryptocurrencies. I would like to thank Neil for submitting his play to be a guest post on this site – this is the first play that has appeared on this site! I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Neil’s play.
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John Reed Stark

In a series of recent actions, the SEC has demonstrated its aggressive approach toward cryptocurrency regulation and enforcement. In the following guest post, John Reed Stark, President of John Reed Stark Consulting and former Chief of the SEC’s Office of Internet Enforcement, takes a detailed look at the SEC’s recent actions and considers the actions’ implications. A version of this article originally appeared on Securities Docket. I would like to thank John for his willingness to allow me to publish his article on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is John’s article.
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John Reed Stark

In recent days, a number of leading retailers have announced that they are initiating processes to allow consumers to complete purchase transactions using bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. In the following guest post, John Reed Stark, President of John Reed Stark Consulting and former Chief of the SEC’s Office of Internet Enforcement, takes a look at these developments in the retail industry. A version of this article originally appeared on Securities Docket. I would like to thank John for allowing me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this site’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is John’s article.

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John Reed Stark

In the following guest post, John Read Stark, President of John Reed Stark Consulting and former Chief of the SEC’s Office of Internet Enforcement, takes a look at the latest cryptocurrency phenomenon — the  “initial exchange offering,” or IEO. A version of this article originally appeared on Securities Docket. I would like to thank John for allowing me to publish his article. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit an article Here is John’s article.
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Karen Boto

As prior posts on this blog have noted (most recently here), the rise of cryptocurrencies is one of the most important and interesting recent developments in the financial arena. The rise of cryptocurrencies presents a number of challenges. Among the challenges is providing appropriate insurance solutions for cryptocurrency companies. In the following guest post, Karen Boto, a Legal Director at Clyde & Co law firm, takes a look at these cryptocurrency-related insurance issues. A version of this article was previously published as a Clyde & Co client alert. I would like to thank Karen for her willingness to allow me to publish her article as a guest post. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Karen’s article.
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Among the most interesting and significant recent developments on the financial landscape has been the rise of cryptocurrencies and ICOs. As these digital assets have proliferated, they have created a host of regulatory and legal issues. These issues in turn have presented related insurance issues. In the following guest post, John McCarrick, Sedgwick Jeanite, and Michael Goldwasser of the White & Williams law firm take a look at the claims and insurance coverage issues that ICOs present. I would like to thank the authors for allowing me to publish their article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would to submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ article.
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As digital assets and cryptocurrencies have become an increasingly important part of the current financial landscape, market participants and their advisors have struggled with to answer the question whether or not the tokens and coins represent “securities” subject to the requirements of the federal securities laws. In a remarkably direct speech on June 14, 2018, SEC Director of Corporate Finance William Hinman provided some helpful guidance on the SEC’s approach to these digital assets. Among other important things in his speech, Hinman shared his view that Bitcoin and Ether are not “securities” under the U.S. securities laws. He also emphasized that all of the circumstances involving a digital asset, including in particular the way in which it was sold, will determine whether or not the asset is a security. The text of Hinman’s speech at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit can be found here.
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One of the cutting-edge legal issues – one that is raised in a number of pending securities class action lawsuits – is the question of whether cryptocurrencies are “securities” and therefore required to be registered with the SEC before they can be traded. Within this larger question are a host of related issues, perhaps the most interesting of which is the question whether digital currencies that act as “mediums of exchange” are securities, or rather are more like traditional currencies, which are exempt from the definition of securities. The answer to this question could have an enormous impact on the marketplace for digital currencies and could have significant liability implications in a number of pending actions and enforcement actions.
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