After reviewing the licensing/chartering/approval structures that DFS uses for entities seeking to engage in virtual currency activities, we discuss the role of guidance in DFS’s regulation and oversight of virtual currency, particularly new DFS guidance on digital asset custody practices and DFS expectations for how entities acting as digital asset custodians can better protect customers in the event of an insolvency or similar proceeding. … Continue Reading

On January 23, 2023, the New York Department of Financial Services released guidance with the stated goal of helping to protect customers of virtual currency businesses in the event of an insolvency or similar proceeding by imposing new custody and disclosure requirements on virtual currency entities that act as custodians.  Specifically, the guidance focuses on four areas for virtual currency entities acting as custodians (or “VCE Custodians”):

  • Segregation of and Separate Accounting for Customer Virtual Currency: A VCE Custodian is expected to (1) separately account for and segregate customer virtual currency from the corporate assets of the VCE Custodian and its affiliated entities, both on-chain and on the VCE Custodian’s internal ledger accounts; (2) avoid comingling customer virtual currency with any of the VCE Custodian’s own virtual currency or with any other non-customer virtual currency; and (3) clearly and prominently disclose the manner in which the VCE Custodian segregates and accounts for customer virtual currency. 
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On April 28, 2022 the New York Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) issued its Guidance on Use of Blockchain Analytics, a document directed to all virtual currency business entities that either have a NYDFS Bitlicense or are chartered as a limited purpose trust company under the New York Banking Law. … Continue Reading

Proposed change would expand BSA definition of “money” to include virtual currency.  The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) and the Federal Reserve Board (“Board”) have requested comment on an important proposed new rule that would amend the “Recordkeeping Rule” and “Travel Rule” under the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) and expand them significantly. … Continue Reading