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Showing 36 posts by Samuel M. Licker.

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Changes to the UCC Addressing Digital Assets Up for Consideration

It is no secret that buying, using and trading cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens has become more and more commonplace. Less clear is whether crypto, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, is to be treated as money. Even more of a mystery to regulators and market participants alike is how security interests in digital assets can be perfected—this so that other parties cannot improperly claim ownership. If adopted, a newly proposed Article 12 of the Uniform Commercial Code would address these issues by governing transfers (including sales and financings) of digital assets. (Read More)

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How NFTs Are Rockin’ the Music Industry

Just over a year ago, Michael Winkelmann—better known as Beeple—shook the art world when an NFT of his work, a digital collage titled “Everydays: The First 5000 Days, sold for $69 million through an auction at Christie’s. Some would say this is the eye-popping sale that cemented the NFT craze that continues to make headlines.

Since then, NFTs have expanded well beyond fine arts. In fact, non-fungible tokens have exploded, creating new business models across industries. This includes the music space, which has joined the chorus of NFT innovation. (Read More)

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Crypto Under a Microscope: President Biden Issues Executive Order Regarding Digital Assets

Cryptocurrency prices continue to hover in the stratosphere, yet volatility remains one of the hallmarks of these digital assets. It’s this instability, along with the consumer protection issues and national security and climate-related risks associated with Bitcoin, Ethereum and the like, that have driven President Joe Biden to action. (Read More)

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Crypto Wars Continue: The SEC Takes a Stand on Asset Classification

Cryptocurrency is a volatile investment, to say the least. But despite their unpredictable nature, Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum, Dogecoin and the like are now widely owned and traded not only by individuals, but by private and public companies as well, all of whom see the clear value in this nascent asset class. That being said, when it comes to classification for reporting purposes, holders of crypto take a vastly different approach from the government—namely, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (Read More)

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California Enacts Sweeping Amendments to the Insurance Code

Assembly Bill 1511 was recently enacted in California. The omnibus bill, which is a consolidation of multiple legislative efforts, amends, among other things, certain provisions of the California Insurance Code relating to (1) notices of renewal or nonrenewal concerning residential property insurance policies, (2) insurer investments, (3) claims against insurers, (4) the Insurance Commissioner’s authority in enjoining persons who violate the Insurance Code, (5) the Insurance Adjuster Act, and (5) the State Compensation Insurance Fund.

By way of this alert, Michelman & Robinson, LLP provides an overview of the law that goes into effect on January 1, 2022. (Read More)

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California Court Upholds Insurance Commissioner’s Order to Expand FAIR Plan Coverage

In an effort to better protect homeowners, insurance coverage has been expanded and limits increased under the California FAIR Plan – the state’s insurer of “last resort.” Such was the mandate as set forth in California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s 2019 Order No. 2019-2, which has just been upheld by the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles. (Read More)

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GameStop Mania May Trigger SEC Regulation

The headlines at the beginning of this year touting the ever-expanding list of GameStop paper millionaires—Redditors and its WallStreetBets group and others following in their footsteps, who bought the stock well before its meteoric rise to a record closing price of $483 per share—were soon replaced by cautionary tales of millennials who lost it all. Yes, these market players (many young and less than sophisticated investors leveraging the power of the commission-free Robinhood stock trading app) were riding high, at least temporarily, while sticking it to the hedge funds and big time institutional investors that are the subject of their collective ire. (Read More)

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California Department of Insurance to Hold Public Discussion on Mitigation in Rating Plans and Wildfire Risk Models

The California Department of Insurance has invited the public to participate in a pre-notice discussion regarding a contemplated addition to the California Code of Regulations (“CCR”) dealing with mitigation in rating plans and wildfire risk models. The web-based virtual event will be held on March 30, 2021 at 1:00 pm (PST). (Read More)

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New $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief Bill Passes House, Moves to Senate

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a massive $1.9 trillion relief bill advanced by President Joe Biden and his administration. Dubbed the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislation now heads to the Senate, where Democrats are hopeful it will reach President Biden’s desk for signature before March 14 (the day unemployment aid programs are set to expire). (Read More)

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Read the Fine Print: Congress Imposes New Reporting Requirements Upon Certain U.S. Business Entities

Despite veto drama, the William (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA) was enacted into law, and deep within its 1480 pages is a title—coined the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA)—that establishes new and more stringent reporting requirements. This represents but a small set of robust changes to U.S. anti-money laundering legislation that is part of the NDAA. (Read More)