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Blockchain technology was born in the midst of the financial crisis and proposed as a means of reliably transferring a store of value without using a bank or other financial intermediary. Bitcoin was the first such blockchain token, and multiple cryptocurrencies have followed. But blockchain use cases extend far beyond the financial world, and some of the more creative uses of blockchain technology have emerged in the supply chain. The numerous benefits of blockchain to…

A new interpretation of the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (the CFTC) removes some uncertainty from a key exemption for virtual currencies. On March 23, 2020, the CFTC approved its final interpretive guidance on the meaning of the term “actual delivery”. In order for retail commodity transactions involving digital assets to be exempt from CFTC regulation under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), the transaction must result in actual delivery within 28 days, or such other…

Baker McKenzie is pleased to announce that the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency in Africa report is now available. This guide summarizes the latest and key developments taking place in 22 selected African jurisdictions in respect of blockchain and cryptocurrency, focusing on the regulatory approaches up until the end of 2018. This guide also provides a comparative assessment of the stance adopted by such regulators, with a view to providing a better understanding of the opportunities and…

Pursuant to the Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019 (the Prescription Order), which came into force on 15 January 2019, digital currencies and digital tokens which are not issued or guaranteed by any government body or central bank, and fulfils other specific features, are prescribed as securities.The implications of treating digital currencies and digital tokens as securities are significant as the Malaysian Capital Markets and Services Act…

Two recent decisions issued by an Italian Court of First Instance and, subsequently, by the Court of Appeal intervene in the debate around the qualification of cryptocurrencies as an asset or money that may be validly injected into a limited liability company’ s capital.Both decisions refer to the same question: can a company accept cryptocurrencies as a contribution in kind to the company’ s corporate capital? Both courts answered in the negative, however on different…

Given the increasing reliance of Financial Institutions (FIs) on technology and online systems and the increasing threat of cyber attacks, it is timely that the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) issued, on 4 September 2018, a set of minimum standards on technology risk and cybersecurity management by FIs in Malaysia – the Risk Management in Technology policy document (RMiT). The RMiT has been issued as an exposure draft which it is intended will come into force on…

The hype around blockchain and smart contracts is like nothing we have seen, possibly since the Internet. For a disputes lawyer, the technology raises twists on some historical issues such as personal jurisdiction and choice of law. Another issue — does the code that makes up smart contracts satisfy the statute of frauds?But smart contracts will also raise issues that courts have not had to deal with in connection with more traditional contracts. For example,…

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) issued the policy document on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism for Digital Currencies (Policy Document). The Policy Document was issued on 27 February 2018 following a public consultation process in 2017.Overview of the Policy DocumentUnder the Malaysian Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA), a “reporting institution” (RI) includes any person who provides services of exchanging digital currency for money (and vice versa) or…

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange CoinCheck confirmed on 26 January 2018 that it has been the victim of a massive hack, resulting in what would appear to be the largest cryptocoin theft of all time. In a press conference CoinCheck admitted that the current understanding was that the hackers had stolen around 523 million of the exchange’s NEM coins which, at the time of detection, were worth around $534 million. This would surpass the $400 million worth of…

On 5 September 2017, the Assistant Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM) announced that BNM will issue regulatory parameters for the conduct of electronic know-your-customer (e-KYC) processes for remittance transactions.Following the announcement, on 30 November 2017, BNM issued a supplementary document (Supplementary Document) which supplements the policy document on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) (Existing Policy Document). This will apply to remittance service providers licensed under the Money Services Business…