Mayer Brown
Digital Assets Download

July 28, 2023


Digital Assets Download – Ripple Effects: Microscopes across the crypto digital assets universe have been focused on the US federal court hearing The SEC vs Ripple, one of the most closely watched crypto enforcement actions in the United States. In our headline piece for this Digital Assets Download, our team cuts through the court’s lengthy decision – and the frenzied commentary in the market – to give you a practical analysis on what the rulings mean, and don’t mean, for digital assets markets. Our latest edition also features Mayer Brown insights on efforts to address tax uncertainties affecting investments in digital assets and an update on an innovative regulatory regime being implemented by the Catawba Nation, a Native American tribe in South Carolina.

For the Uninitiated: Digital Assets Download is 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. (Check out all of our previous editions of the Digital Assets Download.)

Sharing is Caring: Please share this edition of the Digital Assets Download via LinkedIn and Twitter and and let us know how we can better serve as your oracle to the digital assets world.

Lead Block

Perspectives and insights from Mayer Brown lawyers and other thought leaders that touch on digital assets, decentralized finance, cryptocurrencies and related fields.

Defining Digital Asset Securities: US District Court Issues Summary Judgment Rulings in SEC v. Ripple Labs

In a closely-watched ruling, on July 13, 2023, a US federal court made several key determinations on the question of whether digital tokens are “securities” for US securities law purposes. While the Court’s decision provides a number of meaningful rulings, it leaves many questions unanswered and will not be the final chapter in this long-running dispute. In this Legal Update, members of Mayer Brown’s Global Digital Assets Group examines the key takeaways from the ruling, what questions remain unanswered, and what the Court’s decision means for digital assets in the United States.

Into the Woods: US Congress Provides a Roadmap to Solving Cryptocurrency Tax Issues

The US Joint Committee on Taxation has just released its report on the federal income tax uncertainties affecting the trading and investing in digital assets, including cryptocurrencies. In certain cases, the Joint Committee highlighted the uncertainty without providing any proposed resolutions. In other cases, the Joint Committee provided guidance that is consistent with positions being taken by market participants. In addition, senators Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand have just proposed legislation intended to reduce market risk in the stablecoin market. This bill has a tax provision that would affect affiliated groups filing consolidated tax returns with cryptocurrency depositories. Mark Leeds, of the New York office of Mayer Brown, condenses these developments in the attached Legal Update.

Catawba Indian Nation Passes Banking Code Intended to Attract Fintech Companies

The Catawba Indian Nation recently passed a new Banking and Financial Services Code as part of the Tribe’s efforts to build a “Digital Economic Zone” that is tailored to attract banks and fintech companies to its small tribal reservation outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. The Code presents a novel innovation in the e-banking industry, that, if successful, could provide a template for replication by numerous Native American tribes across the country. However, substantial legal barriers exist that will require alterations to existing law before the Catawba Nation’s desire for tribally chartered banks can become a reality. Members of the Mayer Brown team describe this in more detail in a posting for the Fordham Journal of Corporate and Financial Law.



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

US House of Representatives – “The Future of Digital Assets: Providing Clarity for the Digital Asset Ecosystem”

The Financial Services Committee of the US House of Representatives held a hearing on June 13, 2023 discussing leadership of the global digital asset financial system.

"Securities Offering and Private Placement Developments: A Prolific, Controversial Year of Rulemaking" at the Alternative Finance Summit 2023

On Tuesday, September 26, 2023, Mayer Brown partner, Anna Pinedo, will speak at the Alternative Finance Summit 2023: Fintech, Blockchain, and Crowdfunding at PLI New York in New York City. Her panel, “Securities Offering and Private Placement Developments: A Prolific, Controversial Year of Rulemaking,” will discuss topics including SEC strategy on blockchain issues and SEC crypto enforcement lawyer staffing up. For more information, please visit the summit website.


Learn the Lingo

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.

Ripple and XRP

Ripple is a blockchain-based digital payment network. One of Ripple's main functions is to serve as a payment settlement system that is used by financial institutions to settle cross-currency transactions.

XRP is the native digital token of the Ripple network. XRP serves as a mechanism of exchange between two currencies or networks, and is used as a temporary settlement medium that allows transactions to settle on the Ripple network in an average time of three to six seconds (according to Ripple).


Writings on the Wall, Translating ‘Crypto’ Terms with Mayer Brown

From Airdrop to Wrapped Token, our illustrated glossary, “Writings on the Wall, Translating Securities with Mayer Brown,” has been updated with additional digital assets and cryptocurrency terms. Check out our “featured” list for the crypto terms and the full list of terms.


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