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Global Weekly Fintech Update

21 December 2020

21 December 2020

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.

You are welcome to share the round-up with colleagues who may like to subscribe.



Clifford Chance briefing – The EU's proposals for far-reaching regulation of the digital sector

Clifford Chance video – Legal careers in cryptocurrency: inside fintech law with lawyers from Coinbase and The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation

Clifford Chance podcast – Talking Tech @ the Singapore Fintech Festival: perspectives, predictions and the 'pandemic push'

Clifford Chance newsletter – Global Intellectual Property Newsletter: IP topics from around the globe, including articles on the latest restrictions on the export of artificial intelligence technology, the advent of deepfakes and the use of influencer marketing in the UK


Data Claims - Scaling the risk webinar

Companies should actively be considering their data complaint handling strategies - since it came into force in 2018, GDPR alone has led to a significant increase in collective data claims worth billions of euros.

For anyone that missed the live webinar this week, Clifford Chance litigation specialists from across Continental Europe, the UK and the US provided an update on the most active jurisdictions and an overview as to how courts across Europe and in the US are starting to grapple with the key question, “what is our personal data worth?”

  • (17 Dec 2020) World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Cryptocurrencies review of cryptocurrency use cases, which provides a non-exhaustive list of companies, protocols and projects that demonstrate the diversity of ways that cryptocurrencies and the networks which they power can be put to use.
  • (11 Dec 2020) Speech​ by the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, on the four cornerstones of payments in the digital age, namely private sector innovation, public sector involvement, regulatory and legal frameworks and international cooperation.



  • (17 Dec 2020) US Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (DOJ OIG) report on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)'s strategy to disrupt illegal dark web activities. Among other things, the DOJ OIG calls on the FBI to develop an FBI-wide cryptocurrency strategy and dark web approach. | Press release
  • (15 Dec 2020) Primer from the innovation office of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (LabCFTC) on digital assets. The primer, which is part of a series issued by LabCFTC and builds on the virtual currency primer published in 2017, is designed to provide updated information to the public about emerging concepts in digital assets. | Press release


Hong Kong:             

  • (16 Dec 2020) Hong Kong Monetary Authority Regtech Watch issue​, which focuses on  technology applications that can help maintain business continuity and effectively respond to the various operational challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • (16 Dec 2020) The Securities and Futures Commission has announced that it has granted the first licence to a virtual asset trading platform in Hong Kong. The platform is intended to exclusively serve professional investors and will be subject to requirements similar to those which apply to securities brokers and automated trading venues. | Press release


  • (14 Dec 2020) Securities and Exchange Board of India consultation on proposed changes to its Innovators Growth Platform framework. The proposals are intended to make it easier for start ups and other innovative companies to enter the mutual fund space. Responses are due by 11 January 2021. | Press release

The Philippines:         

  • (7 Dec 2020) Central Bank of the Philippines consultation​ on a proposed open finance governance ​​framework. Responses are due by 23 December 2020.

Republic of Korea:    

  • (14 Dec 2020) The Korean Communications Commission has announced that it plans to establish basic principles for recommendation services based on artificial intelligence algorithms, with the intention of enhancing the transparency and fairness of these services. | Press release (in Korean)​​



See our briefing (also listed above): The EU's proposals for far-reaching regulation of the digital sector.


  • (11 Dec 2020) Speech by Deputy Governor of the Bank of France,​ Denis Beau, on innovations in the financial sectors and the contribution of central banks, including the Bank of France's experience of testing the digital euro for cross-border payments.


  • (16 Dec 2020) The draft law on electronic securities (in German) has been approved by the Federal Cabinet. The bill is intended to digitalise corporate financing in the capital markets, including by allowing all-electronic securities to be recorded using blockchain technology. | Press release (in German) | Clifford Chance summary from when the bill was initially introduced


  • (27 Nov 2020) Legislative Decree 159/2020 (in Italian), which introduces various amendments to the Growth Decree, is published in the Official Gazette. The decree sets out further details on the operation of a regulatory sandbox, including that the Bank of Italy, and the Italian securities market and insurance supervisory authorities, Consob and IVASS, will be responsible for adopting the necessary measures for admission to the sandbox and that participation in the sandbox is to have a maximum duration of 18 months.


  • (11 Dec 2020) Malta Financial Services Authority guidance on technology arrangements, ICT and security risk management, and outsourcing arrangements | Press release



  • (11 Dec 2020) Speech (in Swedish) by the Minister of Financial Markets, Per Bolund, on the effects of the digitalisation of the payment market and the Government's progress on its digital currency review 


  • ​​(11 Dec 2020) The Federal Council has announced that the entry into force of certain elements of the package of legislative amendments on distributed ledger technology (DLT), namely the provisions which enable ledger-based securities to be introduced, are to be brought forward to 1 February 2021. The remaining provisions of the DLT amendments are expected to enter into force as originally scheduled on 1 August 2021. | Press release​


  • (17 Dec 2020) Law Commission call for evidence​ on the definition, formation and interpretation of smart contracts and the extent to which the existing law can accommodate them. Responses are due by 31 March 2021. | Consultation webpage
  • (16 Dec 2020) The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has established a temporary registration regime to allow certain existing cryptoasset firms to continue trading after 9 January 2021. The regime is being established for cryptoasset firms that were in operation before 10 January 2020 and have applied for registration with the FCA under the Money Laundering Regulations prior to 16 December 2020 but whose applications are still being processed. Under the temporary regime, these firms will be permitted to continue trading after 9 January 2021 until 9 July 2021, pending the FCA's final decision regarding their application. | Press release​
  • (15 Dec 2020) Government response to the consultation held on its Online Harms White Paper. This follows on from the Government's initial response to the consultation, published in February 2020. It outlines ​​the Government's plans to establish a new regulatory framework under the Online Safety Bill which will be overseen by Ofcom and will impose a duty of care on companies to improve the safety of their users online. | Online Harms White Paper webpage​

European perspectives tech series – New EU Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act: the Commission's proposals and what they could mean for you (14 January 2021):
The EU Commission has published proposals for new tech legislation in December 2020, the first major overhaul of EU rules for online actors in two decades. Join our webinar to hear some of the top European antitrust, tech and public policy experts from across the Clifford Chance network as they discuss the contents and scope of the proposals, who they affect and what happens next. | For more information and to register, see the event webpage


Warsaw Perspectives series – Three years of GDPR – what now? An attempt to assess and determine the perspective for the development of the European privacy protection system (12 May 2021):
The GDPR has become a part of our everyday lives. During this seminar, we will consider what has changed in personal data protection over the last three years, how the financial sector is affected by these changes, to what extent the regulatory authority should use its powers and what other changes are to be expected. | Please note this seminar will be delivered in Polish, for more information and to register, please contact the Warsaw Perspectives team

Additional Information

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. 

The content above relating to the People's Republic of China (PRC) is based on our experience as international counsel representing clients in business activities in the PRC and should not be construed as constituting a legal opinion on the application of PRC law. As is the case for all international law firms with offices in the PRC, whilst we are authorised to provide information concerning the effect of the Chinese legal environment, we are not permitted to engage in Chinese legal affairs. Our employees who have PRC legal professional qualification certificates are currently not PRC practising lawyers.