Mayer Brown

May 13, 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.

OFAC Imposes First-Ever Sanctions Against Virtual Currency Mixer

On May 6, 2022, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) designated crypto mixer as a Specially Designated National (“SDN”), marking the first time a virtual currency mixer has been sanctioned. The move is the latest in a series of sanctions designations and enforcement actions in the virtual currency industry based on a determination of involvement in malicious cyber attacks and laundering the stolen virtual currency proceeds of illicit ransomware attacks.

Blockchain-Friendly Executive Order Issued by California Governor

On May 4, 2022, Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, issued an executive order (the “CA EO”) directing several state agencies to undertake projects to support the responsible development of blockchain technology. The CA EO is broadly modeled on the similar executive order that US President Joe Biden issued in March 2022 (“Federal EO”) and emphasizes in several places that California will base its actions off of those of the US federal government. As with the Federal EO, the CA EO does not provide much insight into what the outcome of the various projects will be and tempers its enthusiasm for blockchain technology with the countervailing concerns of consumer protection and climate change.



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

Crypto Meltdown Deepens as Stablecoin Tether Drops Below Dollar Peg. Read More >>

Algorithmic Stablecoins: What They Are and How They Can Go Terribly Wrong. Read More >>

Belgian Registration for New Crypto Firms Kicks in on May 1. Read More >>

HFSC Technology Task Force Hearing on Recent Trends in Mobile Banking and Payments. Read More >>

SEC Nearly Doubles Size of Enforcement’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit. Read More >>

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Tina Smith (D-MN) sent Abigail Johnson, the CEO of Fidelity, a letter regarding the “appropriateness” of Fidelity adding Bitcoin to its 401(k) investment plan menu and the actions Fidelity will take to address “the significant risks of fraud, theft and loss” posed by these assets. Read More >>

California Governor Signs Executive Order to Spur Crypto Industry in the State. Read More >>

9 Out of 10 Central Banks Exploring Digital Currency, BIS Says. Read More >>

US Treasury Issues First-Ever Sanctions on a Virtual Currency Mixer, Targets DPRK Cyber Threats. Read More >>

ISDA: Accounting for Digital Assets: Key Considerations.

Cryptocurrency Suits Could Provide Road Map for Litigation Against NFT Marketplaces, Exchanges. Read More >>



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


Women.Connected Quarterly Spotlight (ABA Event). May 16 (Register Here). Virtual coffee break with Lindsey Haswell for a discussion focusing on women in the profession and beyond. Lindsey is Chief Legal and Administrative Officer of She joined after serving as Chief Legal and Administrative Officer at Lime and was previously a member of Uber’s legal team.

CFTC Roundtable. May 25 (View Here). Staff of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will hold a public roundtable on May 25, 2022, from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm ET, to discuss issues related to intermediation in derivatives trading and clearing.

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.

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



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 Futures Contract: A bitcoin futures contract is an agreement to purchase or sell a bitcoin for delivery in the future: (1) at a price that is determined at initiation of the contract; (2) that obligates each party to the contract to fulfill the contract at the specified price; (3) that is used to assume or shift price risk; and (4) that may be satisfied by delivery or offset. Bitcoin futures contracts must be listed and traded on a CFTC-registered derivatives contract market.



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