The role of cryptocurrencies in a bankruptcy matter can be considered, in a word, enigmatic. Judges that have attempted to apply insolvency law to cryptocurrencies have had to answer many novel questions, starting with whether digital assets themselves even belong in their courts. The lack of consensus regarding the nature of cryptocurrency has made bankruptcy proceedings difficult, as there is not yet agreement on a number of fundamental issues that determine insolvency outcomes. This conundrum has been exacerbated by the extreme volatility of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, which has seen its value plummet from $15,004.10 on 1st January 2018 to $4,494.07 on 22nd November 20181.

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Author: Adam Killip

The Isle of Man Financial Services Authority (“IOMFSA”) has recently updated its registration policy in relation to businesses operating in the cryptocurrency sector.

The updated registration policy explains that with effect from 5 October 2018, the IOMFSA will refuse to register any Isle of Man-based cryptocurrency businesses under the Designated Businesses (Registration and Oversight) Act 2015 unless two criteria are met:

  1. the business must have at least 2 Isle of Man resident directors; and
  2. the business must be managed and controlled in the Island.

Read more: Isle of Man Financial Services Authority updates its registration policy for cryptocurrency...

Authors: Kyle A. Owens & Erin F. Fonté

Cryptocurrencies have captured the imaginations of individuals and emerging businesses drawn to their potential to serve as alternative stores of value, to reduce transaction costs by eliminating intermediaries, and―most notably in popular culture and media―to provide eye-catching opportunities for speculative investing. Coin valuations for well-established players Bitcoin and Ethereum have fallen sharply since late 2017/early 2018, and new players continue to enter and leave the marketplace. As noted previously in this blog, regulators are taking interest.

Read more: Brave New Wheels? Potential Uses for Blockchain Technology in Auto Finance

Author: Michael Bacina - Partner, Piper Alderman

Piper Alderman’s Blockchain Group has been at the forefront of the blockchain revolution, advising leading Australian and international projects using this exciting new technology to gain greater business efficiencies, forge new business models and disrupt incumbent intermediaries. We regularly present explainers on Blockchain, and in this article we set out a primer and some examples of how Blockchain technology operates, to assist you in understanding some key concepts in the technology.

Read more: Beyond the Hype Cycle: Blockchain explainer

Author: Matthew Blakebrough

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), and their tokens, have changed dramatically during the course of 2018. 

Back in January, Blockchain events in London were full of millennials living off appreciating cryptocurrency assets, spending their days and nights trading utility tokens from the latest ICO to hit the chatrooms of Reddit or flash up on Telegram.

Nine months on, things have changed due to the decline in value of many cryptocurrencies and the market 'wising up' to the fact that anywhere between 75% and 95% of unregulated utility token based ICOs being a sham. The days of individuals living off the appreciating value of their crypto assets seem to be far behind us.

Read more: Security Tokens – Are we witnessing the merger of crypto and traditional financial markets?