Background - Practices (Details)

Blockchain / Distributed Ledger Technology


Blockchain and Your Business

Blockchain technology and distributed ledger technology (DLT) are poised to become a new standard for information exchange. Forbes has estimated that more than $4.5 billion of private investment was made in blockchain technology in 2017, and Business Insider estimates that $5.6 billion was raised in ICOs in 2017. These figures are expected to continue to increase exponentially.

For entrepreneurs, investors, and enterprises already involved in the blockchain and DLT space, this makes sense: blockchains offer businesses a host of advantages, including highly secure transactions, preservation of data integrity, and operational efficiencies. At Crowell & Moring, we help clients understand the most promising uses of blockchain and DLT in their own business, whether they are developers and vendors seeking to capture new opportunities, or companies and end users that are considering joining or deploying blockchain or DLT networks.

Ensuring Network Participation Works for You

Participation in a blockchain or DLT network gives rise to a host of concerns that must be identified and resolved to ensure maximum return on investment, the security and stability of mission-critical systems and data, and compliance with complex laws and regulations. We help clients explore blockchain and DLT options, create a blockchain strategy, and negotiate network participation—ensuring the right strategy is in place for issues ranging from cybersecurity to dispute resolution procedures.

Experience Matters

Crowell & Moring represented the largest DLT investment to date in 2017, involving more than 40 global financial institutions. Today, we help leading blockchain and DLT software and network developers, as well as end users, pursue opportunities and craft strategies that position their companies to succeed. From developing first-ever industry consortia to creating compliance strategies that minimize risk, our lawyers provide the full range of transactional, regulatory, and litigation counsel that helps companies lead the way in blockchain and DLT.

Our multi-disciplinary team includes former regulators as well industry and ABA leaders, such as the former (and founding) director of the Office of Policy in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, the former chief counsel of the US Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and a former deputy superintendent and general counsel of the New York State Insurance Department.

Partnering with Innovators Across Industries

Blockchain and DLT are transforming how companies communicate, keep records, and interact with the marketplace. With experience at every level of the blockchain ecosystem and an integrated approach that mirrors the efficiencies, innovation, and security of a DLT platform, Crowell & Moring provides comprehensive, point-to-point counsel to help industry leaders in the following sectors, among others:

  • Token offerings
  • Distribution and logistics
  • $4.5 billion

    Amount of private investment made in blockchain technology in 2017.

  • Securities 
  • Commercial Finance 
  • Energy 
  • Commodities and derivatives trading 
  • Government contracts 
  • Health care 
  • Insurance

We Speak — and Translate — the Language of Blockchain

Our Blockchain & DLT Practice includes nationally recognized technology lawyers who understand the regulatory and competitive landscape that drives innovation. Our tech-savvy team of lawyers spans a myriad of industries that will be affected by blockchain and DLT, and includes those with prior professional experience as software developers and consultants in the technology industry. We understand the applications of blockchain and DLT across industries and the specific issues that both developers and network participants face. Leveraging our deep regulatory and industry experience, our team provides practical, real-world advice for how DLT can support our clients’ businesses and the legal, compliance, and business issues they will need to address for a stronger network and enterprise.

Whether representing companies or helping industry groups influence the development of proposed legislation and regulations, our team works with clients in their interactions with a range of federal and state regulators and other organizations, including:

  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) 
  • Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Department of Justice (DOJ) 
  • Federal Reserve 
  • Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)  
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)  
  • National Futures Association 
  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 
  • Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

Our Blockchain and DLT Services:

Our team represents clients on the full range of blockchain and DLT-related issues across industries, including:

  • Consortium and joint venture transactions  
  • Anti-money laundering, sanctions and Bank Secrecy Act  
  • Securities and commodities regulation 
  • Corporate financings and initial coin offerings 
  • Cryptocurrency funds 
  • Cybersecurity and privacy, including HIPAA and data transfer issues 
  • Insurance regulation 
  • Antitrust counseling 
  • Energy trading 
  • E-discovery and recordkeeping 
  • Government affairs 
  • Intellectual property development and licensing 
  • International trade and customs issues 
  • Tax counseling

Crowell & Moring provides comprehensive, point-to-point counsel to help industry leaders in finance, energy, insurance, health care, government contracts, and other sectors stake their claim in the blockchain and DLT space.

Is your business ready for Blockchain?

Exploring Blockchain
We provide in-house CLE programs and information sessions on blockchain and DLT, helping clients understand both the technology and the regulatory issues of implementing a blockchain or DLT solution, as well as promising use cases in specific industries.

Creating a Blockchain Strategy
We offer in-depth workshop sessions for companies considering implementing a blockchain or DLT network, including identifying regulatory hurdles to adoption, assisting with network diligence, negotiating network agreements, and addressing the full range of issues relating to joining a network.

Ready to Join a Network
And, once you are ready to join a network, our team works to negotiate the legal agreements and provide a deep-dive review of operating procedures, cybersecurity and privacy concerns, and regulatory issues that will impact your success.