WebContentMarket Rules & Responsibilities

gamification concept diagram with icons

Can dressing up a digital trading platform like a video game lure retail investors into excessive or ill-advised trades with rewards as fleeting as a puff of virtual confetti or a simulated slot machine spitting out cartoon coins? That’s just one of the questions the Securities and Exchange Commission is trying to answer by inviting public comment on so-called gamification, … Read More

SEC Adopts Amendments to “Accredited Investor” Definition

Emily HayesBest Practices, Market Rules & Responsibilities, Operations

SEC amends “accredited investor” definition

On August 26, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) approved amendments to the “accredited investor” definition1, thereby increasing the number of persons that can participate in private offerings of securities2.  Previously, individuals that wanted to participate in private offerings generally had to be high earning or high net-worth individuals to qualify as “accredited investors.” The amended definition allows, … Read More

SEC Proposes Revisions to the “Accredited Investor” Definition

Emily HayesMarket Rules & Responsibilities


Just in time for the holidays, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) gifted investors and other financial market participants with a notice of proposed changes to the “Accredited Investor” definition to expand access to private capital markets. The proposed rule would add new categories of persons that qualify as accredited investors based on professional knowledge, certifications, and investment holdings. … Read More

SEC Approves Regulation Best Interest for Broker-Dealers, Form CRS

Emily HayesBest Practices, Market Rules & Responsibilities, Operations


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) adopted “Regulation Best Interest” (“Reg BI”) on June 5, 2019, requiring broker-dealers to act in the best interest of their retail customers when recommending securities or a particular investment strategy. Additionally, the SEC adopted a new Exchange Act Rule 17a-14, 17 CFR § 240.17a-14, that requires broker-dealers to prepare, file with the SEC, … Read More

NY Office of the Attorney General Alleges Bitfinex Engaged in $850 M Fraud

WebContentCase Studies, Cryptocurrency, Market Rules & Responsibilities


On April 25, 2019, the New York Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”) announced that it obtained a court order against the operators of Bitfinex demanding the online digital asset exchange turn over a plethora of important documents related to previous subpoenas the OAG issued to Bitfinex. The order’s accompanying petition alleges that Bitfinex “borrowed” funds from its affiliate, Tether, the … Read More

SEC’s FinHub Publishes Digital Asset Analysis Framework

Emily HayesMarket Rules & Responsibilities, Operations


On April 3, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology, a.k.a. the SEC FinHub, released its “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets,” (the “Framework”) providing further guidance on how the SEC will analyze whether a given digital asset is an investment contract and, therefore, a security under the federal securities laws. … Read More

NFA Institutes New Requirements for CPO Internal Controls Systems

Chelsea EllisBest Practices, Market Rules & Responsibilities, Operations


Effective April 1, 2019, every National Futures Association (“NFA”) member commodity pool operator (“CPO”) that handles customer funds must implement an internal controls system (“ICS”) that “is designed to deter fraudulent activity by employees, management, and third parties” to ensure that each Member CPO properly safeguards customer funds, provides accurate and timely financial reports, and fully complies with CFTC and … Read More

FINRA Publishes Its 2019 Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter

Chelsea EllisMarket Rules & Responsibilities


On January 22, 2019, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) published its 2019 Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter (“2019 Priorities Letter”). FINRA annually publishes its Priorities Letter to highlight the areas on which it intends to focus for the upcoming year. While the majority of 2019’s focus areas are the same as last year’s (sales practice risks, senior investors, … Read More

SEC Reaches Settlements with Two ICO Issuers

Gretchen HelfrichCryptocurrency, Market Rules & Responsibilities


In 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced in the Report of Investigation on The DAO its view that digital tokens (or coins or certain cryptocurrencies) can be securities, subject to regulation by the SEC under the federal securities laws. Last month, it flexed its regulatory muscle.  For the first time, the SEC imposed civil penalties—of $250,000 each—on two companies … Read More