Tag Archives: cryptocurrency

Sanctions Compliance Risk Increases for Cryptocurrency Companies

Sanctions compliance considerations have always been an important factor for cryptocurrency companies, but a number of recent US government actions suggest regulators are increasingly focused on the intersection between digital currencies and economic sanctions.   This intensified focus highlights the importance of sanctions compliance for blockchain-related companies, particularly for those considered US persons. This increased focus … Continue Reading

A Thanksgiving Feast: SEC Sets the Table for More Crypto Enforcement Servings to Come

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC or Commission) November 16 announcement charging two cryptocurrency companies—CarrierEQ Inc. (d/b/a Airfox) and Paragon Coin Inc. (Paragon)—with conducting an initial coin offering (ICO) in violation of the securities registration rules should not come as a surprise to those in the industry. The SEC has repeatedly emphasized that issuers of … Continue Reading

The EtherDelta order: SEC continues to articulate what constitutes a cryptocurrency “securities exchange,” weighing in on “decentralized” exchanges

On November 8, the SEC issued a settled order against Zachary Coburn, the creator of the smart contract that powers the EtherDelta decentralized exchange.  In the settled order, the Commission found that Coburn’s EtherDelta smart contract, which enabled trading of Ether against any other ERC20 token, and the EtherDelta website through which buyers and sellers … Continue Reading

Alan Cohn Featured on the Washington Legal Foundation Webinar

On October 17, 2018, Alan Cohn participated in a panel discussion with Daniel Alter of Murphy & McGonigle and Scott Kimpel of Hunton Andrews Kurthen titled “Initial Coin Offerings: Can Securities Regulators Balance Market Growth and Investor Protection?” at the Washington Legal Foundation. Cohn lay the foundation for an in depth discussion on cryptocurrency and regulators approach to … Continue Reading

Blockchain Takes Over Episode 229 of the Cyberlaw Podcast

On September 4th, Alan Cohn hosted the 229th episode of The Cyberlaw Podcast.  We took a deep dive into all things blockchain and cryptocurrency discussing recent regulatory developments and best practices for users of exchanges.   Our episode begins with Charles Mills discussing the landmark decision coming out of the New York Eastern District Court in … Continue Reading

National Law Journal Names Weinstein, Cohn Trailblazers in Cryptocurrency, Blockchain & FinTech

Steptoe partner Jason Weinstein and of counsel Alan Cohn have been named to The National Law Journal’s list of Trailblazers in Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and FinTech. The list of 50 lawyers is featured in a special supplement in the September issue of the legal publication. Weinstein and Cohn co-chair Steptoe’s global Blockchain and Cryptocurrency practice and are recognized for their … Continue Reading

FINRA Encourages Firms to Report Involvement in Activities Related to Digital Assets

In a Regulatory Notice published July 6, 2018, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) encourages its members to promptly notify FINRA if they, or their associated persons or affiliates, engage in activities related to digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and other virtual coins and tokens.  The Notice also encourages firms to inform FINRA of changes in the … Continue Reading

IRS Turning up the Heat on Cryptocurrency Transactions

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) made a pair of announcements on July 2 that it is increasing its focus on taxpayers who avoid their tax obligations using cryptocurrency. Background By way of background, in April 2014, the IRS issued Notice 2014-21, which generally provided that “convertible virtual currency” is treated as property, not currency, for … Continue Reading

Blockchain Takes Over the Cyberlaw Podcast

On May 21st, Alan Cohn hosted the 217th episode of The Cyberlaw Podcast. We took a deep dive into all things blockchain and cryptocurrency discussing recent regulatory developments and the current state of play of the industry. Jack Hayes discusses the status of regulation surrounding cryptocurrencies including anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance, the Department of Treasury’s … Continue Reading

Investing in Cryptocurrency: Tax Implications Workshop

On March 1, Steptoe is hosting a workshop in New York on the tax consequences of investing in cryptocurrency, as well as common methods of tax structuring for individuals and entities using, trading, and investing in cryptocurrency and tokens. The workshop will feature discussions on a range of topics from determining basis, income, and capital … Continue Reading

A “One-Stop” Guide to Blockchain Regulation and Best Practices for Responding to Investigations

Government regulators are increasingly focused on blockchain and cryptocurrency activity, a development that some, such as IMF head Christine Lagarde have called inevitable. In the US, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have issued statements, enforcement actions, and penalties involving blockchain and … Continue Reading

Can Your Cryptocurrency Get a Clearance?

You know that federal entities like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have all issued guidance concerning cryptocurrencies.  But get ready to add a new agency to the list—the Department of Defense’s Defense Security Service (DSS). Standard … Continue Reading
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