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Joe Cutler's litigation work focuses on combating cybercrime and enforcing website terms of use.

The AMLA 2020 includes sweeping reforms updating and modernizing U.S. anti-money laundering laws, many of which have implications beyond financial institutions regulated under the Bank Secrecy Act.

This multipart series will discuss key takeaways, including (1) new corporate beneficial ownership disclosure requirements; (2) enhanced whistleblower program; (3) expanded subpoena authority over foreign financial institutions accessing

The French data protection authority, Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), became the first European data protection authority to issue written guidance on the intersection of the use of blockchain technology and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The CNIL guidance provides welcome clarification on how to tackle some of the inherent tensions between GDPR and blockchain, although the CNIL left open certain important issues that will require deeper analysis and explanation in the future.
Continue Reading French Data Protection Authority Issues Guidance on Application of Blockchain to the GDPR

The SEC is targeting ICOs once again, but it is now adding more focus through its new Enforcement Division Cyber Unit.

  • In its enforcement settlement with Munchee, Inc., the SEC looked past the utility of a “utility token” in its “securities” analysis and instead focused on aspects such as marketing and the existence of a

We are pleased to release two in-depth white papers discussing cutting-edge legal and technology issues applicable to smart contracts and self-sovereign identity systems.

In the smart contracts white paper, Dax Hansen, Partner and Chair of the Blockchain and Digital Currency Industry Group, and Carla Reyes, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at the

Last week, California legislators introduced an amended AB 1326, which substantially changed California’s proposed bill addressing procedures and regulations of digital currency businesses. After a second reading in the California Senate, this bill has been re-referred to the Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions for additional comment. See California Legislative Status on AB-1326. Industry

This week, at the tail-end of the legislative session, California legislators have introduced a bill (amended from a bill originally introduced in April 2015) that statutorily addresses the increasingly topical question of how to regulate the emerging crypto-currency market.

The amendment, introduced on August 8, 2016, is a vast departure from the earlier iterations of

In what may be good news for emerging virtual currency companies and emerging payments companies, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) released a public statement yesterday regarding the willingness of banks to offer accounts to Money Service Businesses (“MSBs”).
Continue Reading FinCEN Releases Statement Encouraging Banks to Offer Services to Money Service Businesses (MSBs)

On Monday, FinCEN issued two advisory rulings responding to requests for clarification regarding the money transmitter status of two virtual currency companies.  While the advisory rulings are technically limited to only the requesting companies, they strongly suggest that FinCEN considers both virtual currency payment processors and virtual currency exchange platforms to be money transmitters.  In practical terms, many virtual currency businesses that previously have argued that they are exempt from FinCEN regulations will now have to register as money transmitters, implement an anti-money laundering program, and comply with other reporting and recordkeeping requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act.  We summarize the two rulings below, and then lay out some of the key “takeaways” for virtual currency businesses.

Continue Reading FinCEN Issues New Rulings Covering Virtual Currency Exchanges and Payment Processors

New York State DFS Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky today issued proposed rules applicable to virtual currency businesses. These proposed rules continue the DFS’s efforts to regulate this emerging, dynamic industry. As it has done in the past, the DFS seeks input from the public, soliciting comments on the proposed rules for 45 days after the proposed rules’ formal release on July 23, 2014.
Continue Reading NYDFS Issues Sweeping Proposal for Rules Governing Virtual Currency Businesses

Last week, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) released model consumer guidance that they jointly developed to assist state regulatory agencies in providing consumers with information about virtual currency and factors consumers should consider when transacting with or investing in virtual currency.  Within days of the model guidance release, the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation and the Nevada Department of Business and Industry both issued their own Advisories.  The Maryland advisory notice adds a statement that Maryland does not currently regulate virtual currencies.  Given the breadth of Maryland’s money transmitter statute, Maryland likely has the authority to regulate virtual currencies without any amendments to its laws, but appears to have decided to take a “wait-and-see” approach for now.  The Nevada guidance adopts the CSBS model advisory language verbatim with only insubstantial changes in the introductory language, and does not comment on whether current Nevada law covers virtual currency.
Continue Reading CSBS Model Virtual Currency Advisory: DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Maryland and Nevada Release Their Own Similar Advisories