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Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Compliance and Investigations

Multinational conglomerates, global financial services companies and emergent startups are increasingly leveraging blockchain and distributed ledger technology for their customers. This includes creating and utilizing cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. Staying ahead of market trends in this sector takes creative counsel who are prepared for what’s next. We frequently advise our clients on best practices in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space and provide them with innovative solutions to help manage compliance risks as they shape their products and services in line with market demand. In this fast-moving and rapidly evolving regulatory environment, we separate truth from fiction and provide practical advice to those navigating the complex risks and rewards of blockchain, cryptocurrency and other distributed ledger businesses.

Our team offers a unique understanding of the current state of the blockchain and cryptocurrency markets and is adept at predicting where regulators and enforcement agencies will focus as the industry evolves. With former members of government agencies such as the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), as well as members of our Public Policy team who served in Congress on the Senate Committee on Finance, Senate Banking Committee, and House Financial Services Committee, we have unique insight into where cryptocurrency risk and opportunity intersect. This allows us to assist clients in navigating the complex regulatory issues that impact blockchain and cryptocurrency products and services, including compliance with securities and commodities laws and regulations, as well as US and international anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) requirements. We have deep expertise advising clients on the unique challenges that blockchain and cryptocurrency present for complying with the US Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and the BSA’s implementing regulations, along with global sanctions requirements.

Why Choose Us 

Our fully integrated team helps clients understand and negotiate the legal, business and political issues impacting the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, including: 

  • Advising financial services providers on how to assess and mitigate compliance risk regarding AML, sanctions, securities and other digital asset enforcement priorities
  • Defending cryptocurrency companies, exchanges, and individuals in government enforcement actions and civil litigation proceedings
  • Guiding companies through the regulatory framework analysis for cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other digital assets 
  • Assisting with implementation of economic sanctions screening and reporting
  • Guidance on MSB registration with FinCEN and BitLicense application with New York State Department of Financial Services
  • Preparing anti-money laundering (AML) and sanctions compliance programs, including development of financial crime compliance manuals, policies and procedures
  • Advocacy at the US state and federal levels, as well as access to policy influencers globally

Our comprehensive legal expertise, insight into US and foreign government priorities and global presence allow us to quickly and proactively identify risks associated with the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry and to efficiently and effectively address them in the US and around the world. 

Representative Experience 

  • Startup cryptocurrency exchange – Designed an anti-money laundering/combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) and US economic sanctions compliance program.
  • Cryptocurrency exchange – Assisting in its New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) BitLicense application and conducting AML/CFT and US economic sanctions gap analysis of the exchanger's AML/CFT and sanctions compliance program.
  • US-based cryptocurrency exchange – Assisted with the development of a sanctions compliance program, including the drafting of policies and procedures and assisting with the implementation of a new sanctions screening system.
  • CEO of a cryptocurrency exchange – Advised on an AML investigation led by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Cryptocurrency exchange – Advised an Asia-based cryptocurrency exchange platform on the acquisition of money transfer licenses and its DFS BitLicense application.
  • Online crypto casino – Conducting an AML and US economic sanctions gap analysis of an online crypto casino and representing the casino in investigations by US and foreign authorities. Advising on designing, drafting and implementing new AML and sanctions policies and procedures as well as compliance with international regulatory and licensing regimes.
  • Blockchain association – Advised in relation to the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) enforcement action to block the Kik and Gram distributions.
  • Investor clients – Advising on significant fraudulent Bitcoin transactions arising out of initial coin offerings (ICOs).