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Implications of S. 1241, the Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017

Congress has become increasingly interested in the current state of knowledge about potential links between terrorist financing and money laundering.  In the House of Representatives, the Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance held a hearing on June 8, 2017, titled “Virtual Currency: Financial Innovation and National Security Implications.”  In the Senate, Senator … Continue Reading

Perils in Hosting Virtual Currency Exchanges in China: The Lekuda (OKCOIN Trading Platform) Case

An appellate decision from a provincial high court in northeastern China may help to shed some additional light on the Chinese government’s regulation of virtual currency exchanges in China, the anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) expectations placed on these exchanges, and the liability that might accrue to exchanges in the event of criminal activity … Continue Reading

Are Bitcoin and Other Digital Currencies Securities?

Anyone who has tried to explain bitcoin around their kitchen table knows that it is not easy to put your finger on what exactly the technology is.  Because of their innovative nature, digital currencies don’t have obvious analogs or fit easily into existing categories.  Bitcoin is part currency, part digital payment system, and part immutable … Continue Reading

Bitcoin and Terrorist Financing

Following the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, polls show that Americans identify terrorism—more than any other issue—as the most important problem facing the US.  In this environment, some media outlets have predicted a pending “crackdown” on digital currencies, particularly by European governments, because of the risk that the technology could be used to fund … Continue Reading

Outlook for 2016

CoinDesk, a leading source for bitcoin and FinTech news, published an op-ed by Jason Weinstein and Alan Cohn on “4 Trends That Will Shape Bitcoin Regulation in 2016.”  The piece identifies emerging developments in the fast-changing world of digital currency regulation.… Continue Reading

What Does Donald Trump Think About Bitcoin?

This week featured interesting remarks from two of the most influential thought leaders in Bitcoin and the blockchain – Blythe Masters and Brian Forde. During SourceMedia’s Convene conference, Masters, the CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, observed that while we are in the early days of development for Bitcoin and the blockchain, similar to where we … Continue Reading

Digital Payments and Currencies: Global Threat or Opportunity?

On Thursday, April 23, I spoke at the Bretton Woods Committee seminar, “Digital Payments and Currencies: Global Threat or Opportunity?”  The panel discussed the changes digital currencies and payment systems have brought to the market and the disruptive potential of a future in which they may become more conventional. An audio clip of the seminar … Continue Reading

Are New York’s BitLicense Rules Good or Bad for Bitcoin?

It’s only been about a week since New York’s outgoing Superintendent of Financial Services Ben Lawsky released the long-awaited “BitLicense” rules for digital currency businesses operating in New York, but it’s not too early to try to assess the potential impact of those rules on the development of Bitcoin-related businesses and emerging financial technologies. The … Continue Reading
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