NFA Mandates New Disclosures on Certain Virtual Currency Activities

Citing a “variety of unique and potentially significant risks,” the NFA has issued an Interpretive Notice (Notice) to NFA-regulated firms that engage in certain derivatives and underlying or spot transactions involving virtual currencies. The Notice requires that regulated entities provide robust disclosures about the risks peculiar to virtual currency activities in their offering and disclosure documents and promotional materials, and provide customers with a specific notice expressing that the NFA does not have regulatory authority over spot or underlying virtual currency transactions. This article analyzes the key provisions of the Notice, along with several potential traps for unwary fund managers, with insight from a practitioner with expertise in this area. See our three-part series on blockchain and the financial services industry: “Basics of the Technology and How the Financial Sector Is Currently Employing It” (Jun. 1, 2017); “Potential Uses by Private Funds and Service Providers” (Jun. 8, 2017); and “Potential Impediments to Its Eventual Adoption” (Jun. 15, 2017).

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