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Digital assets vary. They can be a virtual currency that has no analog in the real world, and exists only on the blockchain used as a substitute for money. For this reason, virtual currencies are generally considered to be secure and offering a high degree of privacy. A recent decision from a US federal court of appeals, however, may cast a different light on this generally held view. USA v. Gratkowski In United States v.…

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…

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…

Globally, there is an emergence of initial coin (or token) offerings (“ICOs”) as a source of funding for startups and technology companies latching onto the digital token trends. The Singapore Business Times reported that based on information obtained from Tokendata.io, there were 34 ICO projects raising USD 665 million in July 2017 alone. Singapore has also seen its fair share of ICOs and digital tokens offering, ranging from property backed tokens to crowdfunding platforms for…