Clifford Chance Discusses the Role of the CFTC in the Regulation of Bitcoin

The remarkable growth and volatility of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies has raised the question of how these markets are regulated. The CFTC has emerged as “the federal overseer of digital currencies like bitcoin,” according to Bloomberg.[1] Other federal regulators, such as the SEC and bank regulators, supervise specific institutions and discrete activities, and state regulators have jurisdiction in their states over money transmission. However, the CFTC is the only federal regulator of virtual currency markets. (For purposes of this article, we do not view tokens issued in Initial Coin Offerings as virtual currencies.)

What does CFTC regulation mean? … Read more

Clifford Chance Discusses US Considerations For Transition Away From Libor

Although a bedrock of the financial markets for over 30 years, LIBOR has been under pressure ever since the Wheatley Review, and a speech given by Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on July 27th heralds its potential demise.[1] Market participants need to prepare for the possible transition away from LIBOR by the end of 2021. This briefing explains why and assesses the practical and documentary implications for the US market.

Key Points

  • UK regulatory support for LIBOR is likely to be withdrawn by the end of 2021.
  • The development of suitable alternatives for

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Clifford Chance Discusses Smart Contracts

Consider a world in which contracts are performed by computers and drafted in computer code by legal software engineers. What kind of efficiencies in terms of speed of execution, legal certainty and transparency could be gained? Conversely, what are the risks of trusting machines to execute contracts, and perhaps even to enter into contracts with other machines? These are some of the questions raised by smart contracts, an emerging technology that promises self-executing contracts implemented in computer code and performed by networks of computers, with minimal intervention from human agents after they have been “launched” by the parties. Backers of … Read more

Clifford Chance on Exemptions for Inter-Affiliate and Intragroup Transactions Under Dodd-Frank and EMIR

On January 16, 2014, Clifford Chance released a briefing, available  here, on exemptions for inter-affiliate and intragroup transactions under the U.S. Dodd-Frank Act and the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (“EMIR”).  Both impose obligations requiring the clearing and reporting of certain derivative transactions and the margining of uncleared trades. However, there are differences as to how the U.S. and the EU regimes apply to inter-affiliate or intragroup transactions.

Our briefing summarizes and compares the relevant U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) rules against the relevant E.U. rules.  It is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice.

The … Read more