Josh Sterling of Jones Day talks with John Lothian News about NFTs, DeFi, and the role banks play related to climate change

John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman and CEO

Josh Sterling, a partner with Jones Day specializing in commodities and derivatives law,  spoke with John Lothian News about his work helping trading platforms address strategic enforcement, regulatory, and transactional matters. 

Sterling says the CFTC is focused on making sure exchange reporting is correct and that exchanges are also complying with systems safeguard requirements. He believes these will continue to be a CFTC focus. In an exciting development, his firm is helping to register exchanges that are trading new kinds of derivatives designed to address issues like climate change. 

He also has clients in the digital asset space facing enforcement actions; the regulatory and enforcement agenda is aggressive. As to non-fungible tokens, US law is challenged to define what they are and Sterling struggles to consider something non-fungible to be a security. 

Sterling sees the laws evolving around decentralized finance. Decentralized finance is a square peg in a round hole because the continuing challenge is how to decentralize while working within a legal framework that for 100 years has presumed centralization. 

As to commodity fraud, these days substantial regulatory issues have a strong possibility of being referred not only to the CFTC but also to the Department of Justice, because they have an active task force in that space. He advises companies to think holistically about compliance. Companies that have a meaningful commitment to a good corporate culture and an effective remediation plan can reduce penalties and other remedial measures.

As to the role of banks in the climate transition process, Sterling sees it as transferring risk; banks cannot make risk disappear. It is reasonable to look at banks, as well as other financial institutions, and ask what are you doing to address the risks of climate change.  But he finds it ironic that unelected regulators are saying what climate policy will be; Congress will have to speak to it. He advises financial institutions to have a plan to address ESG. 

John Lothian News asked Sterling these questions: 

  1. What are some of the key issues you are working on for clients?
  2. What are some of the legal issues with NFTs? 
  3. What are the legal challenges facing DeFi companies?
  4. How can companies engage with the DOJ and CFTC about commodity fraud enforcement?
  5. What can and can’t banks do for the climate transition process? 

We visit more than 100 financial news websites daily (Would YOU do that?)

The Spread

Todays  Options Newsletter

Now Read This

The Power of Goodwill, Hard Work, Luck and Helping Other People

The Power of Goodwill, Hard Work, Luck and Helping Other People

My posting of the recent Hall of Fame induction news and my two commentaries to LinkedIn and Facebook produced an onslaught of congratulatory comments. It also produced many other comments lauding me for my contributions to the industry, hard work and more. It was a tremendous display of the goodwill that I have created over the years through my work.

ESG weekly review | Feb. 16

Skimpy ice in Chicago a bad omen. Climate Action 100+ suffers a blow. Farmers make headlines. Most people would open pocketbooks to fight climate change.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This Story