Digital currency is an exciting, dynamic and growing technology changing the financial and legal landscapes. To keep pace, corporate counsel must stay abreast of new rules, new regulations, and new applications of blockchain technology. Recognizing this need, Digital Currency + Blockchain Perspectives chronicles industry news, including regulatory developments and other issues affecting our clients and the digital currency industry.

DOJ Announces Establishment of Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud; SEC Chairman Highlights Actions Involving ICOs

Earlier today, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced that the President issued an executive order establishing a new Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud, comprised of a number of divisions of the Department of Justice (DOJ), including the FBI and various United States Attorney’s Offices as designated…

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SEC Director Clears Path for Secondary Sales of Security Tokens as Non-Securities, Declares Bitcoin and Ether Non-Securities

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finally provided some good news, and guidance, regarding permissible token sales. On June 14, 2018, William Hinman, Director of the SEC Division of Corporation Finance, speaking at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: Crypto, shared remarks that filled in some gaps surrounding the security…

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State and Federal Regulators Coordinate Efforts to Combat Crypto Fraud

This past week was a busy one for state securities regulators, the CFTC and the SEC as they continue their focus on rooting out fraud from the digital currency space and crypto- and blockchain-based ventures.  Noteworthy developments included (1) the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) announcing a “cryptosweep” –…

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U.S. v. Zaslavskiy: DOJ and SEC Coordination in Enforcing the Securities Laws over Token Sales

In the fall of 2017, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) each filed actions against Maksim Zaslavskiy for securities fraud in connection with two token offerings, through which he promised token purchasers profits from his companies’ investments in real estate and diamonds. …

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SEC Sues Longfin Over Trades Following Acquisition of Cryptocurrency Company

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week sued Longfin Corp., a financial technology company that recently entered the cryptocurrency space, as well as Longfin’s CEO and three others affiliated with the company.  The complaint, filed in federal court in Manhattan, was unsealed on April 6, 2018, when the SEC…

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Goodwin at Boston Bar Association's Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Forum

On Wednesday, March 28th, a group from Goodwin’s Digital Currency + Blockchain Technology practice participated in the Boston Bar Association’s Forum on Blockchain & Cryptocurrency. The forum brought together attorneys and industry professionals for panel discussions on securities offerings and capital raising, financial services regulation, intellectual property, and securities law…

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FinTech Flash: So You Want to Put a Bitcoin ATM in a Coffee Shop?

This writer received three cold emails in two weeks asking for legal help around operating a Bitcoin ATM (BTM).[1] Each groundbreaker asked: “What are the legal requirements for an operator putting a BTM in, say, a coffee shop?” Lawyers and businessmen and women work on the assumption that for every one person who…

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Goodwin's Rein, Riley & Tran Publish Article on Blockchain in Intellectual Property Magazine

While the rise of cryptocurrencies has highlighted the usefulness of blockchain technology, involving the creation of decentralized, electronic ledgers to track transactions, this technology is applicable to other fields, including financial services and pharmaceuticals. Contemporaneously, the number of pending US patent applications that incorporate blockchain technology has increased dramatically. But…

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New York Department Of Financial Services Issues Crypto Guidance; Outlines Enhanced Reporting Requirements

On February 7, 2018, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NY DFS) issued guidance to all virtual currency businesses that maintain a “BitLicense” or that are chartered as a limited purpose trust company under New York Banking Law (collectively, VC Entities), including those that maintain a money transmitter…

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