Mayer Brown

April 29, 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 & Cryptocurrency group

The latest Digital Assets Download is below. Check out all of our 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.

UK Government Aims to Make the Country a Global Hub for Cryptoasset Technology

On April 4, 2022, the UK government announced various initiatives designed to make the country a global hub for cryptoasset technology. The proposals include: 

  • Bringing stablecoins into the ambit of UK regulation with a view to their being used as a recognised form of payment; 
  • Creating a “financial market infrastructure sandbox” to help firms innovate; and
  • Working with the Royal Mint on proposals for issuing a non-fungible token (“NFT”).

NFTs Primer: What Buyers and Sellers Need to Know

NFTs have been around for quite some time, but they have only hit mainstream public consciousness over the past few years. Mayer Brown partners Richard Assmus and Rohith George and Tech Talks podcast host Julian Dibbell decipher these digital assets and explore a few of the legal issues surrounding them.

Senator Toomey Releases Stablecoin Regulation Legislation

On April 6, 2022, Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, released a discussion draft of the Stablecoin Transparency of Reserves and Uniform Safe Transactions (“TRUST”) Act. The act comes after Senator Toomey solicited legislative proposals on stablecoin regulations in the latter half of 2021.

SEC Rule Proposal Seeks to Clarify “Dealer” Definition; Impact to Entities Engaging in Digital Asset Securities Activities

On March 28, 2022, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed rules that would require certain registrations from market participants, including those that trade in digital asset securities. The proposed rule would require registration as a “dealer” or “government securities dealer” with the SEC for persons whose trading activity “has the effect of providing liquidity” to other market participants. If enacted, this rule could apply to principal trading firms, private funds, registered investment advisers and other market participants, including in the digital asset securities space. 



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

Fidelity Investments Will Offer Bitcoin Inclusion in Its 401(k) Accounts. Read More >>

US Government Warns of North Korean Crypto Attacks After Tying Nation to $625M Hack. Read More >>

Crypto Exchange KuCoin Launches $100M Fund for NFT Creators. Read More >> 

US State of Tennessee Prepares to Hold Crypto as It Seeks a Vendor for Digital Assets. Read More >>

HFSC Task Force on Financial Technology Hearing: What’s in Your Digital Wallet? A Review of Recent Trends in Mobile Banking and Payments. Read More >>

Fort Worth to Become First US City to Mine Bitcoin. Read More >>

Acting OCC Comptroller Calls for Standards on Stablecoins. Read More >>

Central African Republic Becomes Second Country to Adopt Bitcoin as an Official Currency. Read More >>



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


Fintech and Antitrust: What You Need to Know. April 26 (View Recording). The past year has seen significant developments in antitrust regulation, enforcement and litigation in both the US and the UK. Please join Mayer Brown Antitrust partners Tom Panoff and Gail Levine as they discuss how the fintech sector could be impacted by the increased US regulatory focus on and litigation related to data privacy and the use of consumer data, open access and exclusivity issues, restrictive labor agreements, nascent competition and bank merger approval. Airlie Goodman will contribute a UK perspective—particularly, on developments in the UK’s burgeoning collective proceedings regime and, more broadly, on private antitrust litigation.

Surge Protection: Preparing for the Coming Wave of Enforcement. In this series of webinars, Mayer Brown has organized leading practitioners, in-house counsel and former government officials to provide practical guidance and insight into how companies can prepare for increased corporate enforcement from the US Department of Justice (DOJ). A policy shift that was announced in 2021 is expected to add substantially to the burdens companies and executives under investigation may face.

April 13: SEC, CFTC and DOJ Enforcement Trends (View Recording)

May 13: Cybersecurity Enforcement – Lessons Learned from Recent Developments and Predictions for the SEC, FTC, DOJ and Other Executive Agencies (Register Here)



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.

Bitcoin ETFs: There are two types of exchange traded funds (ETFs) that provide investors with indirect exposure to price changes in bitcoin—spot bitcoin ETFs and bitcoin futures ETFs.

The price at which the spot bitcoin ETF trades is based on the price of bitcoin at any given time. 

On the other hand, a bitcoin futures ETF invests in, and trades based on, the price of bitcoin futures. Bitcoin futures are separate derivative instruments that allow investors to purchase bitcoin in the future at predetermined prices (effectively allowing investors to wager on the future price of bitcoin). 

The first bitcoin futures ETF was approved by the US SEC in October 2021, and several others have been approved and begun trading since. However, to date, the SEC has not approved a spot bitcoin ETF (though several have applied). 

Outside of the United States, several countries (such as Canada, Germany and Switzerland) have approved spot bitcoin ETFs.



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