Blockchain Law Firm
Blockchain technology is changing the way individuals and companies transact business online. While blockchain opens new frontiers, it also presents many unknowns, and this has led to intervention and attempts to impose oversight by the CFTC, IRS, SEC, and other federal authorities.
At this point, it is hard to believe that blockchain technology has only been around for slightly over a decade. Today, there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies worth billions of dollars in market capitalization (with Bitcoin leading the way by far), and blockchain technology is being used for everything from storing digital currency and recording transactions to providing digital identification. In the future, blockchain could play a significant role in online voting; and, if the growth in popularity of cryptocurrencies continues, it could become fundamental to multiple aspects of the worldwide economy.
Yet, at this point, the technology still remains relatively unknown, and many of its uses are still likely to be discovered.
However, this has not stopped federal regulators from getting involved. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have both taken positions on the legality of various uses of blockchain and various cryptocurrency-related transactions and market activities, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made clear that it intends to tax cryptocurrency as property—and aggressively pursue taxpayers who fail to report their cryptocurrency transactions. As a result, companies working with blockchain companies, cryptocurrency companies, cryptocurrency investors, and other individuals and businesses all need to be careful, and they need to seek experienced legal representation before doing anything that could lead to civil or criminal enforcement action.
Federal Compliance and Defense Lawyers Experienced in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Matters
At Oberheiden P.C., we represent companies and individuals in the United States and around the world in U.S. federal matters involving blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Our lawyers include former federal prosecutors with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and we have a nationwide network of compliance and litigation consultants who previously served with the IRS, SEC, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and other federal agencies.
Our lawyers and consultants have a proven record of helping clients avoid federal inquiries through effective compliance, we have an extensive record of successfully defending clients during federal investigations and prosecutions, and we can take action immediately if you or your company is at risk for federal charges. We are available 24/7, so contact us for a free and confidential case assessment now.
Our Services: Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Compliance and Fraud Defense
We provide compliance and defense representation for all matters involving blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. Regardless of your specific needs, if you are in need of legal advice or representation, we encourage you to contact us to learn what we can do to help. Some examples of our services in the areas of blockchain and cryptocurrency compliance and defense include:
Compliance Representation for Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency Transactions
On the compliance side, we help entrepreneurs, investors, and companies avoid federal statutory and regulatory violations and mitigate other liability risks through the implementation of comprehensive policies and procedures, effective contract drafting and negotiation, and ongoing advice and representation. We provide these compliance services in the areas of:
- Blockchain Technology – For blockchain technology companies, we assist with navigation of the complicated, de-centralized, and rapidly-expanding federal regulatory regime. We help company owners and executives make smart decisions, and we offer solutions that are flexible enough to adapt to blockchain companies’ rapidly evolving legal obligations.
- Smart Contracts – Smart contracts have evolved quickly, but there is still a long way to go before they gain mainstream acceptance. We help companies create and utilize smart contracts supported by blockchain technology, and we represent our clients in federal regulatory matters when necessary.
- Cryptocurrency Mining – Cryptocurrency mining is a fundamental component of the expansion of blockchain, and it remains subject to close scrutiny at the federal level. Mining, especially on a large scale, potentially presents a host of legal and regulatory issues, and miners must ensure that their operations are fully compliant in order to avoid unwanted scrutiny.
- Cryptocurrency Transactions – We advise and represent investors and companies with respect to all aspects of all types of cryptocurrency transactions. From cross-border issues to federal income tax implications, we help our clients see the complete picture so that they can make informed decisions.
- Cryptocurrency Forks, Halving, and Other Issues – Forks, halving, and other cryptocurrency events can present compliance concerns for cryptocurrency companies, exchanges, investors, and others. Here, too, we help our clients understand their obligations and make informed decisions focused on avoiding triggers for federal investigations.
- General Corporate and Tax Compliance – When establishing or running a blockchain company, cryptocurrency company, or other business that utilizes blockchain technology or digital currency, it is imperative to maintain general corporate and tax compliance as well. In addition to representing clients with regard to blockchain-specific compliance matters, we also provide comprehensive general corporate compliance representation.
Defense Representation for Allegations of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Fraud
On the defense side, we represent individuals and companies in investigations and other inquiries involving the CFTC, IRS, SEC, and other federal agencies. We also provide defense representation for civil and criminal judicial proceedings involving the DOJ and the U.S. Attorney’s Office arising out of allegations of:
- Bank, Computer, and Corporate Fraud – The DOJ and other federal agencies have been paying particular attention to fraud crimes involving Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This includes bank fraud, computer fraud (such as identity theft), and corporate fraud.
- Hacking, Theft, Scamming, and Other Computer Crimes – Computer crimes such as hacking, theft, and scamming are also high on the federal government’s list of priorities when it comes to crimes involving blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
- Money Laundering Involving Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology – The relative anonymity of cryptocurrency ownership has led to Bitcoin and other digital currencies being used for a broad range of illicit purposes. In particular, money laundering involving cryptocurrencies has seen a spike in activity (and law enforcement attention) in recent years.
- Tax Evasion and Tax Fraud – The IRS is on high alert for cryptocurrency owners, both individuals and corporations, who fail to report their holdings and transactions on their federal income tax returns. The IRS began sending warning letters in 2019, and it has signaled its intent to aggressively pursue violators that fail to report taxable transactions and meet their federal income tax obligations.
- Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Investment Fraud – Investment fraud scams involving blockchain technology companies and cryptocurrencies have proliferated in recent years as well. The SEC and other federal regulators are actively monitoring the market for signs of investment scams, and many companies offering legitimate investment opportunities are finding themselves in the SEC’s crosshairs.
- Fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) – One issue in particular that the SEC has identified as a high-risk area for investment fraud is the advent of initial coin offerings (ICOs). Generally speaking, these offerings need to be registered, and failure to register, fraudulent registration, and other statutory violations can lead to substantial penalties for companies and their owners.
Understanding the Laws Surrounding Blockchain and the Legality of Cryptocurrency in the United States
While most people are now familiar with the general concept of cryptocurrency, few are aware of the technical and legal intricacies involved, and fewer still have any understanding of the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency’s decentralization has created challenges for federal authorities like the CFTC, IRS, and SEC, but this has not prevented them from placing restrictions on what companies and individuals can and cannot do when it comes to offering investments and executing transactions.
Understanding the Benefits, Risks, and Limitations of Smart Contracts
Smart contracts present many unique and unprecedented opportunities, but they also present legal risks for companies that offer smart contract technology and that adopt this new technology in their business operations. While smart contracts offer many advantages and benefits, it is important for all companies to be aware of their risks and limitations as well.
Learn more: How Do Blockchain “Smart Contracts” Work?
Understanding What Constitutes Money Laundering with Cryptocurrency (or Crypto Laundering Fraud)
Estimates put the total losses from crimes perpetrated through the use of cryptocurrency at $4.5 billion for 2019. This number is likely to increase substantially in the years to come. In particular, money laundering with cryptocurrency (or crypto laundering fraud) has grown in popularity amongst various criminal organizations due to the protections that operating on an anonymous and decentralized platform offers. Federal authorities are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methodologies for targeting crypto laundering fraud, and companies that might not necessarily intend to launder money through cryptocurrency investments can find themselves facing serious criminal allegations.
Learn more: Common Types of Crypto Laundering Fraud
Contact Oberheiden P.C. | A National Blockchain Law Firm
If you have questions about blockchain or cryptocurrency compliance, or if you are facing a CFTC, DOJ, FBI, IRS, or SEC investigation, please contact us to speak with one of our senior federal attorneys. To arrange a confidential initial case assessment as soon as possible, call 888-680-1745 or inquire online now.