Background - Practices (Details)

Blockchain & Financial Services Technology

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As a legal market leader in Digital Transformation, we serve as business partners to emerging technology companies entering into—and established companies that are transitioning to—new areas in the vast financial services arena. We help clients launch and reinvent their products, customer experiences, and business models with the latest technology. In the financial services sector, we advise clients on:

  • Legal, regulatory, and risk management issues surrounding coin/token offerings, including launching new security token offerings and remediating prior offerings.
  • Coding issues associated with using Ethereum tokens in capital raising ventures, including providing guidance on related restrictions required under the federal securities laws.
  • Digital currency apps, including assisting with regulatory compliance, user agreements, and privacy policies.
  • Formation and regulation of platforms and exchanges to trade digital/cryptocurrencies.
  • Money transmission licensing issues, both federal (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)) and state (including New York State BitLicense).
  • Money transmission issues relating to digital wallets for both person-to-person (P2P) and person-to-business (P2B) payments.

Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)

DLT, including blockchain, is altering the way nearly every major industry segment operates. We assist in securing intellectual property rights for the creation of DLT and related applications and on the government contracts and supply chain repercussions, while working with our clients to gauge DLTs potential role in improving cybersecurity and maximizing the efficiency of defense logistics. By staying involved in all areas of DLTs, we provide clients with guidance that is informed by our insight into developments on all relevant fronts.

Digital Assets

Our lawyers represent all parties involved in the digital assets ecosystem with their most pertinent concerns involving entities such as FinCEN, the SEC, and the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). We also help digital asset businesses understand the tax implications of their business activities and their reporting responsibilities to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Our lawyers bring a deep understanding in how complex digital assets business models can be reconciled against the regulatory regimes administered by these agencies, and representing business on these issues before the SEC, CFTC, FinCEN, and state regulators to negotiate appropriate regulatory treatment. We help regulated businesses, from exchangers to custodians, to design and administer effective anti-money laundering (AML) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions compliance programs, and have successfully represented digital asset businesses and participants in digital asset transactions in connection in civil and criminal investigations and enforcement actions before these entities and the Department of Justice (DOJ). We also understand and advise on Internal Revenue Code provisions and IRS guidance related to digital assets.

Cybersecurity & Data Privacy

We assist clients in ensuring that DLT systems and the data—particularly, personal data—stored on DLT systems (which cannot be altered once on the blockchain), comply with U.S. and international data privacy and security laws.

Security Tokens & Tokenization

We advise clients on the legal, regulatory, and risk management issues surrounding coin/token offerings. This includes launching new security token offerings and remediating prior offerings, as well as AML issues relating to an initial coin offering (ICO) and subsequent exchanges and administration of the new token offerings, and preparation of international and U.S. security token offerings and SEC no-action relief.

DeFi/De-centralized Finance

DeFi, which deals with financial services such as borrowing, lending, insurance, and trading, has global reach that implicates various laws and regulations throughout the world.  We assist clients who create or participate in DeFi networks with compliance with financial services regulations, cross-border payment rules, privacy and security regulations, and sanctions compliance.

Representative Experience:

  • Representing a nonprofit node participant in connection with its participation in a new blockchain, including negotiation of a master services node agreement and examination of securities and money transmission compliance issues.
  • Counseling a multinational trade organization regarding the application of blockchain technology to supply chain and regulatory compliance issues.
  • Representing a blockchain technology company on blockchain and DLT transactions and network initiatives for blockchain infrastructure participants.
  • Advising a U.S. state financial agency regarding the potential application of blockchain technology to the provision of insurance and banking.
  • Advising an international conglomerate in connection with patent protection for a distributed ledger system and node.
  • Counseling an energy innovation client on patent protection to create interoperability of distributed ledger systems.
  • Advising an infrastructure-as-a-service company that uses blockchain technology on compliance with AML and sanctions laws.
  • Counseling a U.S.-based blockchain analytics company on various issues, including its international expansion, AML and sanctions, export control, employment, U.S. and EU data and privacy, and employment laws, as well as on contracts with federal government agencies.
  • Helping a virtual currency trading platform to obtain appropriate regulatory treatment from FinCEN and state authorities and to establish effective AML and sanctions compliance programs.
  • Designing effective AML and sanctions compliance programs and conducting related risk assessments for a major virtual currency custodian.
  • Representing a cryptocurrency exchanger in responding to an administrative subpoena from OFAC and in a related redesign of its sanctions compliance program, resulting in closure of the matter with a cautionary letter and no penalty or public announcement.
  • Advising a cryptocurrency exchange on CFTC and other regulatory advice in connection with its consideration of accepting U.S. customers.
  • Counseling a U.S.-based software company on setting up a cryptocurrency exchange and other investment funds.
  • Representing numerous crypto-related FinTech start-ups in various corporate and commercial matters, include fundraising, development of an innovating margin/risk-reduction service, commercial and general counseling matters, and development of a market-making program.
  • Advising a gaming platform in connection with state money transmission licensing compliance.
  • Counseling a money services business in connection with an SEC investigation into the sale of the token XRP.
  • Advising a charitable organization on the receipt of cryptocurrency donations.
  • Counseling a payment platform application in connection with an SEC-exempt security token offering.
  • Representing a Taiwanese issuer on a multi-jurisdictional security token offering.
  • Guiding a corporation on initial coin offering and blockchain issues.