Digital bonds can reduce the need for intermediaries and therefore lead to lower fixed costs provide better market transparency by increasing capacity to see trade flows and the identity of asset sellers and buyers and provide a much faster settlement speed. While there are still development milestones necessary to make these benefits apparent, the private sector has begun discussions on how to enter this space.
On 13 April 2022, three organizations – the National Internet Finance Association of China, the China Banking Association and the Securities Association of China – jointly issued the Initiative to Prevent relevant Financial Risks of Non-fungible Tokens (“Initiative”). This is the first Non-Fungible Token (NFT) themed official document involving NFT compliance since the rapid development of NFT in China. Although the Initiative is only a self-regulatory statement and not mandatory regulatory rules, considering the special status of the three associations as official industry self-regulatory organizations, to a great extent it still represents the regulatory attitude and trend of supervision.
On June 7, 2022, Senators Cynthia M. Lummis (R-WY) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced a bill to regulate digital assets and promote financial innovation. The proposed legislation is the first significant, bipartisan effort to apply comprehensive regulation to digital assets.
On 18 November 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) published for comment proposed amendments to the broker-dealer recordkeeping rules with respect to the use of electronic storage. The principal change would be to eliminate the current requirement that electronic records of broker-dealers be stored solely in a “write once, read many” (WORM) format.
The SEC Division of Examinations (Exams) recently published a Risk Alert discussing observations on investment adviser fee calculations resulting from a review of approximately 130 firms. This 2021 Risk Alert supplements a prior alert on the same topic that Exams (then, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations) published in 2018.
In yet another step forward on the SEC’s path toward a comprehensive ESG disclosure framework, on September 22, 2021, the Staff of the Division of Corporation Finance issued a Sample Letter to Companies on Climate Change Disclosure, relying on the Commission’s 2010 Climate Change Guidance.