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The V&E Report
Insights in Government Enforcement and Investigations

SEC Enforcement Report Signals Increased Enforcement, Lingering Limitations from Kokesh

Last week on November 6, 2019, the SEC Enforcement Division released its annual report on the Commission’s enforcement activities for the fiscal year. This article discusses prominent takeaways from the report, and what these and other findings mean for companies under the SEC’s jurisdiction.

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As Pushback Grows in Europe Against Facebook’s Libra, Walmart Considers its own Cryptocurrency

A few weeks ago we wrote about the skepticism Libra, Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, faced from U.S. regulators. Since then, Libra’s unpopularity has spread across the Atlantic. Public officials in France, Germany, and the UK have claimed Libra could undermine monetary sovereignty and have begun calling for a public digital currency in lieu of Facebook’s private-backed proposal.

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Regulators Dislike Facebook’s Entry into Cryptocurrency Market, Calling “Libra” an AML Threat

A month after announcing its new global digital currency “Libra,” Facebook is finding itself under increased scrutiny with U.S. regulators. Lawmakers and senior government officials are raising concerns about how Libra would comply with money laundering, terrorism financing, and trade sanctions laws. While Facebook says it will comply with the laws, the company has offered no concrete ideas on how a semi-anonymous digital cryptocurrency could fit within a legal landscape designed around traditional financial institutions.

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Do Bitcoin ATMs Make Money Laundering too Easy? Regulators Try to Keep up with Emerging Cryptocurrency Trend

Law enforcement agencies have warned that digital currencies, like Bitcoin, are easily used by criminals to launder the proceeds of illegal activities. In the past, buying and selling Bitcoin was technically complex, with limited opportunities for converting physical currency into digital currency without detection. With the recent advent of Bitcoin ATMs, however, converting ill-gotten cash into Bitcoin, or Bitcoin into cash, is now as convenient as visiting an ordinary ATM. More than 3,300 Bitcoin ATMs are in the United States, out of 5,000 worldwide.1

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Clarity for Crypto: Commissioner Peirce wants the SEC to Refine Fintech Regulation

On May 9, 2019, SEC Commissioner Hester M. Peirce delivered a speech via video conference to the Securities Enforcement Forum lamenting the Commission’s failure to develop meaningful regulation in the realm of cryptocurrency and emphasizing the need for clear regulation that would be meaningful and not overly burdensome. Commissioner Peirce’s address highlighted several grey areas in the current regulatory landscape regarding cryptocurrency.

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