U.S. Digital Asset and Cryptocurrency Law

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The are different regulatory requirements for each type of blockchain asset and service. Digital assets can be subject to various laws and regulations governing anti-money laundering, commodities, money transmitter licensing, securities, taxes, and secured transactions. More >

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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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The federal E-SIGN Act and certain state statutes expressly authorize the signing of contracts with electronic signatures. Certain states have also enacted additional legislation to support the use of blockchain technology with respect to smart contracts and digital assets. 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. 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 tokens and other digital assets that are "investment contracts." As a result of these laws, initial coin offerings (“ICOs”) and securities token offerings ("STOs") are sometimes only made to wealthy "accredited investors" under the SEC Rule 506(c) 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 >

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The Uniform Commercial Code (the "UCC") is a law that has been drafted and updated by the Uniform Law Commission, and has been enacted in all 50 states. UCC Article 9 governs secured transactions involving digital assets and other personal property that are directly owned by the debtor. UCC Article 8 governs the system of holding investment securities through intermediaries. 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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