On September 21, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued an Updated Advisory on Potential Sanctions Risks for Facilitating Ransomware Payments on the sanctions risks associated with facilitating ransomware payments. OFAC, with assistance from the FBI, also designated SUEX OTC, S.R.O., as a malicious cyber actor, the first such sanctions designation against a virtual currency exchange.
Continue Reading OFAC Designates Virtual Currency Exchange as Malicious Cyber Actor

On May 28, 2021, President Biden released some of the legislative items that would be added by his American Families Plan, which includes a provision that could impact tax information reporting for cryptocurrency asset exchanges and custodians. If enacted, this proposal could require substantial effort to implement and administer.
Continue Reading President Biden’s Proposal to Enhance Cryptocurrency Information Reporting Regime on Form 1099

As we previously reported, the New York Attorney General has been in protracted litigation with crypto exchange Bitfinex and affiliated stablecoin-issuer Tether. On February 23, 2021, the Attorney General announced a definitive settlement of the matter. The settlement cements the New York Attorney General’s intention aggressively to police the virtual currency marketplace using the expansive anti-fraud authority granted under the Martin Act
Continue Reading New York Attorney General Announces Settlement with Bitfinex

Wyoming recently awarded its second special-purpose depository institution charter to Avanti Bank. Kraken was the first institution to receive the newly created SPDI charter in September. As Wyoming had likely hoped when it passed a flurry of blockchain legislation, it appears that it is starting to take hold as a digital-asset-friendly banking state.
Continue Reading Wyoming Issues Second Crypto Bank Charter

The US Treasury Department recently announced its 2020 National Strategy for Combating Terrorist and Other Illicit Financing (the 2020 Strategy). The 2020 Strategy identifies the US government’s top anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism priorities and serves as a roadmap of Treasury’s plan to stay ahead of evolving illicit finance threats. Digital assets feature heavily in the 2020 Strategy.
Continue Reading Digital Assets Featured in US Treasury 2020 National Strategy

As has been widely reported, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce (aka “Crypto Mom”) recently delivered a thoughtful speech entitled “Running on Empty: A Proposal to Fill the Gap Between Regulation and Decentralization,” including with it a model rule on digital token sales. The model rule has made waves in the crypto community because it proposes a three-year safe harbor from SEC registration while a development team builds out a functional, decentralized network.
Continue Reading SEC Commissioner Peirce Proposes to Fill the Gap Between Regulation and Decentralization