Blockchain Legal Resource

Analysis and Insight in Blockchain Law

On January 30, 2019, a Florida appellate court reversed the trial court’s dismissal of State v. Espinoza, instead holding that a Bitcoin business was both a money transmitter and a payment instrument seller, subject to Florida’s statutes governing money services businesses. The decision contrasts with recent guidance in Texas and Pennsylvania regarding cryptocurrencies, where virtual currencies in those states were not deemed money under applicable state statutes and businesses that conduct transactions exchanging virtual…
The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities recently issued guidance under the Money Transmitter Act (“MTA”) for entities engaged in various forms of virtual currency business in the commonwealth. The MTA, like similar statutes in other states, requires entities engaged in a money transmitter business to obtain a license, maintain minimum net worth standards, pay a surety bond, be subject to periodic examinations, and take other actions to safeguard customer funds. As we previously reported
A vigorous competition among the states to regulate digital assets has begun to develop. Some states, such as New York, have adopted regulations that take a very proscriptive approach to regulation in the interest of consumer protection. States like Wyoming, on the other hand, see an opportunity to stimulate the local economy and take a far more permissive view of digital assets. Two bills now under consideration by the Wyoming Legislature seek to further expand the…
Not only do operators of virtual currency businesses face a growing body of overlapping federal regulations, but they must also contend with a patchwork of state laws as well. Compliance with state money transmitter laws, which typically provide for licensure and supervision of various non-bank financial services companies that handle cash on behalf of consumers, has become a hot-button issue for members of the crypto community. A few states, such as New York with its BitLicense regime,…
The year 2018 was a busy one for the SEC in the digital asset space, with the agency cementing its role as the primary de facto regulator of crypto finance in the United States.  The SEC’s enforcement division was operating at full speed, bringing a series of enforcement cases in the crypto space with an emphasis on fraud and scams involving digital assets.  Notably, the SEC brought first of its kind cases involving digital securities…
In a recently published Request for Information (“RFI”), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) seeks public comment on the underlying technology, opportunities, risks, mechanics, use cases, and markets related to Ether and the Ethereum Network. According to the CFTC, the public input from this request will help to advance its mission of ensuring the integrity of the derivatives markets as well as monitoring and reducing systemic risk by enhancing legal certainty in the markets. In particular,…
Congressmen Darren Soto (D-FL) and Ted Budd (R-NC) recently introduced two bipartisan bills to address virtual currency price manipulation and maintain the United States’ leadership in the cryptocurrency industry. In a joint statement citing the New York Attorney General’s recent report on crypto exchanges and other recent media reports, the members announced that: “Virtual currencies and the underlying blockchain technology has a profound potential to be a driver of economic growth. That’s why we must…
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) recently published a detailed primer on smart contracts. The Primer discusses their functionality, use cases, regulatory environment and potential risks. It describes a “smart contract” as a set of coded computer functions that (1) may incorporate the elements of a binding contract (e.g., offer, acceptance, and consideration), or (2) may execute certain terms of a legal contract, or (3) allows self-executing computer code to take actions at specified times or…