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.

European Securities Regulator Calls for Information Concerning Virtual Currency

On April 22, 2015, the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”) – the European Union’s (“EU”) securities watchdog agency – issued a formal call for evidence regarding investments using virtual currency or distributed ledger technology. ESMA is an independent EU authority responsible for safeguarding the stability, integrity, transparency, and efficiency…

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Lessons From Mt. Gox Bankruptcy

MtGox Co., Ltd., once the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange company, is insolvent, bankrupt, and now history.  This bankruptcy (which I discussed yesterday) offers lessons to cryptocurrency startups. Mt. Gox’s fundamental lack of professionalism has become painfully clear since it filed for bankruptcy.  According to a Wired expose last year, former…

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Ready for that Exam?

A critical but sometimes overlooked topic in the virtual currency world is the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) examination for registered money service businesses.  Digital currency companies that meet the definition of an MSB must register and comply with the requirements of the BSA.  This includes the implementation of an effective…

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OFAC Announces Settlement with PayPal for Apparent Sanctions Violations

On March 25, 2015, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC) announced a settlement with electronic funds transfer giant PayPal, Inc. At issue were almost 500 transactions totaling approximately $44,000 in violation of various U.S. sanctions programs, including for Iran, Cuba, Sudan, proliferation of weapons of…

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