LabCFTC Wants to Meet FinTech Startups in New York

The CFTC and its securities-focused counterpart, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have both been working to meet with fintech startups, including crypto projects, in efforts to clarify how the regulators are approaching the space and help startups better navigate the at-times confusing securities and commodities laws. Last year, the SEC’s FinHub division conducted a roadshow across the U.S.

LabCFTC, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) financial technology experimentation branch, is holding office hours on April 1, asking local companies to ask questions, discuss issues or present their projects.

The CFTC announced Tuesday that participants can register for the office hours by emailing LabCFTC@cftc.gov (email subject line should say “NYC Office Hours”)

“Office Hours provide FinTech innovators and entrepreneurs an opportunity to engage with LabCFTC to discuss ideas, share a presentation and gain better understanding of CFTC’s framework,” the announcement said.

Law Firm Representing Quadriga’s Ex-Users Want Info About ‘Shadow Bank’ Crypto Capital

Miller Thomson, the court-appointed legal counsel for former users of the QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency exchange, is asking for help identifying any records related to Crypto Capital, which may be holding some of the exchange’s funds.In a letter emailed to the exchange’s former customers and posted to its website, Miller Thomson wrote that Crypto Capital Corp., a “shadow bank” registered in Panama, “may have been a payment processor” for the exchange and is asking any customers who have emails or other documents which might be related to Crypto Capital to forward the communications to the legal firm.

“Representative Counsel has been investigating, since its appointment, whether any Quadriga funds were potentially retained by Crypto Capital,” Wednesday’s letter said.

The letter referenced the ongoing court case between the U.S. Department of Justice and Crypto Capital, noting that the shadow bank’s operators are currently under indictment. Reginald Fowler, one of the alleged operators of the company, is in court and may be heading to trial on charges of bank fraud, operating an unlicensed money transmitter and conspiracy.

Fowler intended to plead guilty to one charge of operating an unlicensed money transmitter, but negotiations between his attorneys and the prosecutors have yet to be concluded. He is now scheduled to appear in a New York courthouse in late April.

Wednesday’s letter also referenced the fact that Bitfinex, another crypto exchange, has claimed to be defrauded by Crypto Capital and is seeking information and rights to seized assets in the shadow bank’s possession in the U.S., Portugal and the U.K., three jurisdictions which have reportedly frozen Crypto Capital’s assets.

“As you are aware, Ernst & Young Inc. (the ‘Trustee’) has been unable to locate QuadrigaCX’s basic corporate records or accounting records. As a result, Representative Counsel is asking Affected Users for assistance on this matter to uncover whether Crypto Capital held Quadriga funds,” the letter said.

Kraken Hires Lawyer Marco Santori to Ramp Up Acquisitions

Kraken is growing its legal team, starting with the crypto veteran Marco Santori.

The San-Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange, which boasts over $180 million in daily volume, announced Monday that Santori would helm its legal team as chief legal officer. In this role he will be leading a significant expansion of the team, now counting a “half-dozen quality attorneys”, he told CoinDesk in an interview.

He said he has already set his eye on some candidates and is going to “hire aggressively,” targeting experts in regulatory, commercial and policy issues, and M&A.

He did not say how many new attorneys would be joining.

“Kraken has been remarkably efficient in acquisitions in the past,” Santori said, mentioning the 2016 acquisition of the blockchain startup Glidera, his former client, the CEO of which became Kraken’s chief operating officer.

Kraken acquired Australian crypto exchange Bit Trade in January. Last summer, the exchange also bought Dan Held’s Interchange company offering portfolio management to institutional investors. New partnerships with existing crypto entities, entities in traditional financial services and other companies outside of the crypto world are to come, including new acquisitions, Santori said.

Santori has been in crypto since 2013, seved as a chairman of regulatory affairs committee at the Bitcoin Foundation and represented the group during the New York State Department of Financial Services’ BitLicense hearings.

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