Mayer Brown

February 18, 2022


Digital Assets Download, Powered by Mayer Brown

A curated mix of insights and headlines that provide a Layer 3 Legal Perspective™ on the digital assets multiverse – created by Mayer Brown’s global Digital Assets, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency groupEnjoy this edition of the Digital Assets Download below and find previous editions here.



Original Mayer Brown content, perspectives and insights from across our global platform that touch on digital assets, decentralized finance, cryptocurrencies and related fields.

How a Tiny Tennessee Court Case May Shape the Future of Digital Assets: A Dispute over a $3,800 Tax Bill Could Have Billions of Dollars in Consequences

In 2019, Joshua Jarrett of Nashville engaged in a small-scale virtual currency staking enterprise using a home computer. Over the course of a year, Jarrett generated just under 9,000 new Tezos tokens. Jarrett then reported these tokens on his federal income tax return and was assessed $3,793 in taxes. That’s where the issues began.

Virtual Currencies (and Other Digital Assets) Under the UCC

Virtual currencies continue to gain acceptance in commercial transactions. This article examines the scope of US Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Article 9 with a focus on virtual currencies, taking into consideration issues of classification and perfection, but also how the Uniform Commercial Code and Emerging Technologies Committee is attempting to tackle these unsettled issues by modifying existing provisions and, in some cases, adding new ones.

US Congress Holds Hearings on Future of Digital Asset Regulation

During the past two weeks, the Biden administration and industry representatives testified before Congress at several hearings on the future of digital asset regulation. The hearings demonstrated not only the increasing interest in Congress in passing legislation to establish a regulatory framework for digital assets but also the lack of agreement on the right approach to regulation. The hearings also demonstrated that US regulation of digital assets is quickly evolving and should be carefully monitored by any participants in digital asset markets.



A curated selection of headlines and news from around this multiverse – including deals, developments and other disruptions in DeFi.

Cryptocurrency trading and lending firm BlockFi reached a settlement with the SEC regarding its high-yield crypto-lending product offered to US residents. The terms of the settlement include payments by BlockFi to the SEC and state regulators, and other agreements by BlockFi to pursue SEC registrations for its products going forward. BlockFi and the SEC each put out a statement with its own perspective on the settlement:

BlockFi Statement
SEC Statement

Evertas, an insurance platform focused on the cryptocurrency space, has been granted approval to call itself a Lloyd’s of London coverholder – the first such arrangement with the three-century-year-old institution. Read more >>

Colorado will accept bitcoin for payment of state taxes by the summer, according to its governor, Jared Polis. That said, Colorado won’t hold bitcoin and will convert it to US dollars. Read more >>

A group of well-established digital assets companies in the US have joined together to create a tool to address compliance with global anti-money laundering (AML) rules. The Travel Rule Universal Solution Technology (TRUST) initiative attempts to address AML data sharing requirements prescribed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Read more >>

The IRS updated a form for voluntarily reporting tax-law noncompliance to expand the ability to report on cryptocurrency holdings. Read more >>



Selected upcoming events for deeper dives into different parts of the digital assets and DeFi world.


March-June 2022 | Registration details coming soon

Surge Protection: Preparing for the Coming Wave of Enforcement Webinar Series. With the change in administration, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in 2021 that a significant increase in corporate enforcement is coming. This policy shift is expected to add substantially to the burdens companies and executives under investigation may face, especially when coupled with additional announcements that the DOJ will surge resources dedicated to corporate enforcement. Mayer Brown has prepared a series of webinars which will include leading practitioners, in-house counsel and former government officials across practices to provide practical guidance and insight into how companies can prepare for these changes. The series will cover a wide range of topics including cryptocurrency; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; securities; anti-money laundering; sanctions and export control; cybersecurity; and antitrust issues.


February 10, 2022 | Recording available here

US Banking Regulation: What to Expect in 2022 Mayer Brown partners Jeff Taft and Matt Bisanz discussed what forward-looking issues US banking regulators will likely refocus on this year, including digital assets activities.



For those new to the digital assets and DeFi world, each edition of the Digital Assets Download will highlight a different term to help you be a part of the conversation.

Total Value Locked (TVL): The overall value of digital assets deposited or staked in a decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol.

TVL is a form of fundamental value analysis for a particular DeFi protocol (or for DeFi overall) and has emerged as one of the most widely-used metrics for evaluating and comparing protocols.

TVL is used to assess the levels of capital being used in a protocol, as well as its popularity and near-term viability.

For comparison to another commonly-used financial metric for companies: The ratio of a protocol’s market capitalization (i.e., the total market value of all of a protocol’s tokens in circulation, measured at current market prices) to a protocol’s TVL is analogous to a traditional public company’s price/book ratio (i.e., the company’s market capitalization divided by the net book value of the company’s assets on its balance sheet).



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