Lawyers for Bitcoin Miners
Former Federal Prosecutors and Cryptocurrency Advocates Representing Bitcoin Miners Nationwide
Bitcoin miners face a host of legal challenges and risks. Overcoming these challenges and managing these risks effectively requires a clear picture of the legal landscape, and it requires a top-down commitment to legal and regulatory compliance. Bitcoin miners must be careful to avoid unnecessary litigation risks as well, and they must be prepared to defend themselves effectively during federal audits and investigations.
Our firm provides full-service legal representation to bitcoin miners doing business in the United States. With former federal prosecutors and renowned cryptocurrency advocates and scholars on our team, we offer our clients deep insights and practical advice backed by extensive knowledge and experience. While bitcoin mining may still be relatively new, our lawyers have combined relevant experience—including experience advising, representing, and prosecuting bitcoin miners in connection with all types of legal and regulatory issues.
Our Legal Services for Bitcoin Miners
Nearly all aspects of bitcoin mining have legal implications. Whether in the area of compliance, litigation risk management, or federal defense, bitcoin miners need to be able to rely on experienced legal counsel on a day-to-day basis. Our lawyers are available to serve as outside compliance and risk management counsel to bitcoin miners across the country, and we are able to handle commercial litigation, audits and investigations, and federal enforcement matters nationwide.
Our legal services for bitcoin miners include:
Legal and Regulatory Compliance
We represent bitcoin miners with respect to all aspects of legal and regulatory compliance. While bitcoin miners have certain clearly established obligations, regulation of bitcoin mining is an area that continues to evolve, and the mining industry has received enhanced scrutiny from various federal regulators in recent years. With this in mind, these are just examples of the areas in which we advise and represent our clients:
- Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Finance Compliance – Bitcoin miners must be careful to avoid any implications of oversights or malfeasance in the areas of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing compliance. These are areas of particular concern for federal authorities in the cryptocurrency sphere. Several federal laws apply, and bitcoin miners must comply with the regulations of several federal agencies that have oversight in these areas.
- Environmental Compliance – With the environmental impacts of bitcoin mining gaining widespread media attention, regulators are placing greater emphasis on enforcement in this area. Bitcoin miners can expect to continue to face enhanced scrutiny with regard to the environmental impacts of their operations, and they must devote the necessary resources to compliance in order to avoid being forced to shut down.
- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Compliance – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is one of the primary agencies responsible for enforcing bitcoin miners’ obligations related to environmental and energy costs. Various aspects of bitcoin miners’ operations may be subject to FERC approval, and miners will often need to work with FERC to negotiate approvals that allow them to operate where, when, and how they desire.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Compliance – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also has oversight of the bitcoin mining industry, and it has recently pursued enforcement cases against miners accused of misleading and defrauding consumers. Bitcoin miners are subject to general FTC compliance obligations as well, including truth in advertising and data security, among others.
- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Compliance – Whether operating as equity-funded private companies or seeking to register on a public exchange, bitcoin miners need to prioritize SEC compliance. The SEC is one of several federal agencies prioritizing enforcement in the cryptocurrency space, and its recent enforcement cases suggest that it is paying particular attention to bitcoin miners and other blockchain-based companies.
- Tax Compliance – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is vigorously enforcing bitcoin miners’ and other taxpayers’ cryptocurrency-related tax obligations. It has seized billions of dollars in cryptocurrency over the past few years, and it has taken the position that mining is itself a taxable event.
Beyond legal and regulatory compliance, risk management has several additional facets for bitcoin miners. To manage their risk effectively, miners must address legal issues ranging from data security (i.e., protecting their digital assets) to avoiding third-party allegations of intellectual property infringement. Effective risk management is a multi-step and multi-layered process, and we work with each of our clients to help them develop and implement comprehensive and custom-tailored risk management programs.
Internal Audits and Investigations
Like all companies, bitcoin miners may need to conduct internal audits and investigations for various reasons. Conducting internal audits is a key component of effective risk management, and conducting timely internal investigations can be critical when liability risks arise. Our lawyers for bitcoin miners structure, oversee, and conduct internal audits and investigations pertaining to matters including (but not limited to):
- Assessing legal and regulatory compliance
- Preparing for federal audits and investigations
- Responding to cybersecurity breaches
- Responding to incidents of employee theft
- Responding to employee lawsuits, whistleblower claims, and other liability risks
Our lawyers represent bitcoin miners in all types of business litigation. While litigating business disputes through trial will be necessary in some cases, we take a cost-conscious approach to litigation focused on securing favorable results for our clients as efficiently as possible. We serve as plaintiff’s counsel and defense counsel for our clients in cases involving disputes such as:
- Breach of contract claims against ISPs, cybersecurity companies, and other vendors
- Intellectual property infringement disputes with other bitcoin miners and third parties
- Misappropriation, tortious interference, breach of duty, and other corporate and commercial claims
- Non-compete violation disputes involving information obtained from former employees of other bitcoin miners
- Shareholder, partner, and member disputes involving ownership and control issues
Federal Audits and Investigations
We represent bitcoin miners in federal audits and investigations conducted by FERC, FTC, SEC, IRS, and all other federal agencies. As several of our lawyers previously served within these agencies, we have first-hand knowledge of how, when, and why these agencies conduct targeted inquiries. We rely on this knowledge to build efficient and effective defense strategies; and, across all of our areas of practice, we have resolved the substantial majority of our clients’ government investigations without charges being filed.
Federal Civil and Criminal Defense
Our lawyers also have significant experience on both sides of federal civil and criminal enforcement cases. When an audit or investigation leads to charges, presenting an ineffective defense strategy can have drastic—and potentially business-threatening—consequences. Bitcoin miners that are facing federal enforcement action need to take a proactive approach to their defense, and they need to engage an experienced defense firm right away. We serve as federal defense counsel for cases involving all types of civil and criminal charges against bitcoin miners in federal jurisdictions across the United States.
FAQs: Bitcoin Mining Compliance, Risk Management, and Legal Defense
Are All Bitcoin Miners Subject to Federal Laws and Regulations in the U.S.?
The simple answer to this question is, “Yes.” However, understanding an individual bitcoin miner’s specific legal and regulatory obligations is far more complex.
While individuals who mine bitcoin recreationally have relatively modest compliance obligations, mining companies will typically need to implement robust compliance programs and monitor their compliance efforts on an ongoing basis. When working with bitcoin miners, we help them implement custom-tailored compliance programs that take into account factors including (but not limited to) the scope of their operations, their geographic location, the types of bitcoin mining they do (i.e., CPU, GPU, or ASIC), and the amount of energy they consume.
What Are the Risks of Noncompliance for Bitcoin Miners?
Like all companies, bitcoin miners can face significant risks if they fail to meet their federal compliance obligations. In civil enforcement cases involving FERC, FTC, SEC, IRS, and other agencies, bitcoin miners can face fines, other monetary penalties, and injunctions. In criminal cases involving allegations of knowing or intentional noncompliance, bitcoin mining companies’ owners, executives, and employees can face fines and federal imprisonment.
How Can Bitcoin Miners Establish (and Maintain) Federal Legal and Regulatory Compliance?
To establish (and maintain) federal legal and regulatory compliance, bitcoin miners must first gain a comprehensive understanding of their compliance obligations. This involves examining all pertinent laws and regulations and assessing their applicability to the miner’s operations. With a clear understanding of the steps that are necessary, bitcoin miners can then develop and implement custom-tailored compliance programs—and then monitor for compliance on an ongoing basis.
Where Should Bitcoin Miners Go for Help with Legal and Regulatory Compliance?
Due to the complex and evolving nature of bitcoin mining regulation in the United States, it is imperative that bitcoin miners work with a law firm that has a focused practice in this area. At Oberheiden P.C., we maintain a robust blockchain practice, and we represent individuals and companies involved in all facets of the cryptocurrency industry.
Contact the Lawyers for Bitcoin Miners at Oberheiden P.C.
If you would like to know more about how we assist bitcoin miners doing business in the United States, we encourage you to contact us for a complimentary consultation. Please call 866-926-3417 or inquire online to speak with one of our lawyers for bitcoin miners in confidence.