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Global Weekly Fintech Round-up

7 October 2019

07 October 2019

Welcome to this week's global fintech round-up, summarising fintech regulatory developments that have happened around the world along with our Clifford Chance fintech publications and upcoming events.

Details of these and previous developments can also be found on our Fintech Topic Guide on the Clifford Chance Financial Markets Toolkit.

Please click here to subscribe to future editions of the round-up.

CLIFFORD CHANCE PUBLICATIONS AND MATERIALS

Talking Tech article – Payments industry trends in a hyperconnected world

Clifford Chance briefing – Facebook's Libra: the financial crime risks

Talking Tech article – Italian court rules that cryptocurrency is 'property' and a 'means of payment': The BitGrail case

Talking Tech article – The DIFC Data Protection Law: Proposed amendments

Wall-Street report – Romania's Fintech Map - containing contributions from Clifford Chance Badea's Cosmin Anghel (Counsel, Bucharest)

SPOTLIGHT

VIDEO: Clifford Chance Tech Group: Talking Tech Live

For those who weren't able to join us in Berlin for September's inaugural Talking Tech Live conference, we captured some of the highlights.

GLOBAL LEGAL AND REGULATORY UPDATES

Americas

US:  

  • (3 Oct 2019) The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)'s Technology Advisory Committee held a meeting with its Virtual Currencies Subcommittee on stablecoins and cryptoasset custody, and with its Distributed Ledger Technology and Market Infrastructure Subcommittee on the use of distributed ledger technology in derivatives markets (including for collateral management, trade reporting, smart contracts and payments). | Press release and meeting materials.
  • (30 Sep 2019) Software and blockchain technology company Block.one settles charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission on a neither-admit-nor-deny basis that its ERC-20 token sale constituted an unregistered offering of securities under US law. Clifford Chance served as counsel to Block.one. | SEC Order | Block.one request for waiver.
  • (30 Sep 2019) CFTC charges the principal of a company providing cryptocurrency escrow services with fraud in connection with an escrow arrangement involving Bitcoin, a commodity. | Press release.
  • (30 Sep 2019) US Representatives, French Hill and Bill Foster, letter to Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Jerome Powell, in which they express concerns about digital fiat currencies and ask for clarification on the work the Federal Reserve is doing regarding the development of a US dollar digital currency.
  • (23 Sep 2019) US Treasury Deputy Secretary, Justin Muzinich, speech on the Treasury's current priorities, including cryptocurrency.
  • (6 Sep 2019) The Federal Advisory Council and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System held a meeting at which the impact of stablecoins like Facebook Libra on the banking industry, and how stablecoin providers should be regulated, were discussed extensively. | Record of the meeting.

APAC

Uzbekistan:

  • (27 Sep 2019) Bill (in Russian) on accelerated measures to improve the energy efficiency of economic sectors introduced to Parliament. The Bill, amongst other things, proposes a 300% increase in electricity tariffs for businesses working with cryptoassets, including crypto-miners.

Europe

EU:  

  • (2 Oct 2019) EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum thematic report on regulatory frameworks for blockchain technology and smart contracts.
  • (30 Sep 2019) European Banking Authority (EBA) guidelines on outsourcing arrangements entered into force. The aim of the guidelines is to establish a more harmonised framework in respect of outsourcing for financial institutions, such as credit institutions and investment firms subject to the Capital Requirements Directive, as well as payment and electronic money institutions. The EBA's recommendations on outsourcing to cloud service providers, published in Dec 2017, have also been integrated into the guidelines.
  • (26 Sep 2019) European Central Bank President, Mario Draghi, letter to the EU Parliament on the monitoring work the European System of Central Banks is undertaking on cryptoassets and stablecoins. 

France:      

  • (3 Oct 2019) Autorité des Marchés Financiers president, Robert Ophèle, speech on artificial intelligence, blockchain and cryptoassets and their impact on the future of regulation and compliance.

The Netherlands:      

  • (18 Sep 2019) Five Dutch banks have joined forces in an effort to combat money laundering. The ambition is to set up an organisation that will monitor payment transactions, known as the 'Transaction Monitoring Netherlands' (TMNL). Together with the Dutch Banking Association (NVB), in the next six months the banks will study whether this is feasible given the technical and legal challenges involved. Other banks will be able to join this initiative at a later stage. | Press release.
CLIFFORD CHANCE EVENTS       

London – Breakfast Seminar: Financing Tech Companies for Private Debt Funds (10 Oct 2019): The fast-developing technology sector presents both new opportunities and challenges for private debt providers. Please join us for our next breakfast seminar for private debt funds where we will be discussing the key issues to be considered when lending to, or financing the acquisition of, tech companies. Our panel of experts will discuss the crucial diligence concerns (including in relation to regulated sectors such as financial services) as well as how best to address documentation challenges. | For more information and to RSVP see the event webpage.

London Perspectives Series: The digital future of finance (12/13 Nov 2019): The Huw van Steenis report on the Future of Finance predicts major changes for the finance industry over the next decade, as the market and regulators adapt to a digital economy. Our experts will discuss what this means for financial institutions and how the Bank of England is looking to shape this transformation through smart data, the responsible use of AI and by responding to new risks. | For more information and to RSVP see the event webpage.

London Perspectives Series: Loan and securitisation transactions - getting smarter? (3/4 Dec 2019): Much buzz surrounds the possibility of using blockchain and smart contracts to replace the role of the middle man and enhance efficiency so reducing the costs in financial transactions. Drawing on our experiences from the US, Europe and London, this session will examine the extent to which lending and securitisation are ripe for this treatment and how far it is already underway. | For more information and to RSVP see the event webpage.

This publication does not necessarily deal with every important topic nor cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not designed to provide legal or other advice. Clifford Chance is not responsible for third party content. Please note that English language translations may not be available for some content

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