Cryptocurrency and Digital Asset Law

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Under federal law, if you operate a cryptocurrency exchange or cryptocurrency ATM, the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) requires you to have a formal anti-money laundering (“AML”) program in place. You must identify your customers, monitor their transactions and file reports on any suspicious activities. More >

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Bankruptcy trustees are now administering cryptocurrency assets in bankruptcy estates. In February 2016, a bankruptcy court ruled that bitcoin was not considered U.S. currency for purposes of a potential avoidance of a pre-bankruptcy transfer under 11 U.S.C. § 550(a). More >

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Since 2015, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) has defined bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as commodities that are subject to CFTC prohibitions on interstate fraud and manipulation. In 2017, the CFTC determined that ICO tokens can be regulated as derivatives contracts. More >

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Each state has its own laws governing trusts, estates and probate administration. If you want to convey cryptocurrency to your heirs, you will need to include in your estate planning documents the private keys of your accounts and certain specific instructions to the personal representative or successor trustee. More >

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In most states, a cryptocurrency exchange is deemed to be a money transmitter that is subject to the same state licensing and regulation requirements as other money transmitters. In certain states, cryptocurrency ATM vendors are exempt from state licensing requirements. More >

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Complex federal and state securities laws can apply to the sale of ethereum-based asset tokens that are "investment contracts." As a result of these laws, initial coin offerings (“ICOs”) are sometimes only made to wealthy "accredited investors" under the SEC Rule 506 private offering exemption. More >

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Cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin, is taxed by the IRS as "property." It is not treated by the IRS as currency for tax purposes. Consequently, you will need to (i) keep detailed records and (ii) pay taxes on any gains realized when you either sold cryptocurrency for cash or purchased a good or service with cryptocurrency. More >

This website provides general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to retain an attorney for advice on specific legal issues.

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