Overview

Operating at the forefront of FinTech and digital currency, we are advising clients on the regulatory and legal implications of blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger systems, digital assets, and the technology underpinning electronic trading platforms in the financial markets.

Our multidisciplinary group assists with regulatory compliance, commercial agreements, dispute resolution, intellectual property, and fund formation. We represent significant open source technology developers, advising on the legal dimensions of establishing an architecture of trust and data integrity. We also counsel clients on cross border payment arrangements, technology licensing, custodial trust contracts, electronic trading, online trading platforms, and patent applications. We have implemented smart contracts for clients in the regulated insurance and real estate industries, so we understand that innovation in smart objects creates new challenges to the security and privacy of financial information, and that the “Internet of Things” needs to be underpinned by the “Internet of Value” to achieve interoperability across disparate payment networks.

Our attorneys bridge the gap between digital currency and blockchain developers and often behind-the-curve regulators. For example, we assist broker/dealers and investment advisors with registration and other regulatory issues relating to cryptocurrencies. We also help clients understand the need to work collaboratively with state, federal, and international regulators. In New York, we assisted our client in earning the first Virtual Currency Business Activity License (BitLicense) ever granted for institutional uses.

We also represent clients before the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the bank regulatory agencies with respect to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, as well as before the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), with respect to federal securities laws and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) with respect to the Commodity Exchange Act.

We also assist our clients in dispute resolution and have represented digital currency clients in criminal prosecution and civil enforcement proceedings. In addition, we proactively help our clients establish policies and protocols to avoid potential problems with government agencies.

  • Experience

    • Assisted Ripple Labs in obtaining New York State’s second BitLicense, allowing Ripple to engage in the virtual currency business in New York
    • Negotiated and drafted various agreement for Ripple including customer agreements, service agreements, licensing agreements, including for use of its digital currency, XRP
    • Provided regulatory advice regarding Bitcoin, XRP, and other cryptocurrencies
    • Provided advice to an exchange regarding its agreement for use of data related to Bitcoin prices for the pricing of futures on Bitcoin
    • Assisted a client with the launch of an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)
    • Assisted a client with the launch of a virtual currency hedge fund
    • Advised various clients on matters related to state law’s impact on virtual currency money services (including money transmitter issues)
    • Assisted client with registration of registered broker/dealer and investment advisor dedicated to cryptocurrency
    • Assist broker-dealer clients on regulatory issues relating to cryptocurrencies, including capital and custody issues
    • Working with a client to form private funds holding cryptocurrencies
    • Represented general partners of a cryptocurrency hedge fund in a regulatory matter relating to fundraising practices
    • Represented a trader accused of misappropriating millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency from his proprietary trading firm and outside investors in Chicago’s first criminal prosecution involving cryptocurrency trading
    • Advised on obtaining regulatory approval for exchange trading of shares of a bitcoin trust