Adam Gale

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Developer Arrested Following OFAC Sanctions of the Tornado Cash Protocol

On Aug. 10, 2022, just days after OFAC issued sanctions against virtual currency mixer Tornado Cash, Dutch authorities arrested the protocol’s alleged developer. In a press release, the Treasury Department alleged that since 2019, Tornado Cash had been used to launder more than $7 billion in cryptocurrency, including more than $455 million stolen in the … Continue Reading

SEC and DOJ Bring Parallel Crypto Insider Trading Cases; SEC Alleges Nine Tokens Are Securities

Significant parallel actions commenced this week by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) bring crypto fraud enforcement into the spotlight, with the SEC alleging that multiple tokens listed on Coinbase are securities. In its first insider trading case of “crypto asset securities,” the SEC charged a former Coinbase product manager, his … Continue Reading

SEC Signals Ramp-Up in Crypto Enforcement by Nearly Doubling Its Crypto Assets Cyber Unit Staff

On May 3, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the expansion of its Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit (the Unit f/k/a the Cyber Unit) to 50 staff members, nearly double the Unit’s former size, including supervisors, investigative staff attorneys, trial counsel and fraud analysts. The Unit is a group within the Division of … Continue Reading

Executive Order Launches Comprehensive US Policy and Action Plan for Digital Assets

On March 9, 2022, President Joe Biden signed the Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets (EO) and the White House released a corresponding fact sheet summarizing related key policy objectives. As discussed in more detail here, this is a landmark moment for the U.S. cryptocurrency market. … Continue Reading

SEC Doubles Down on Crypto Enforcement

In a speech before the Aspen Security Forum on August 3, 2021, Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) Chair Gary Gensler urged lawmakers to provide him with the power to police cryptocurrency trading, referring to it as the “Wild West.”[1] While he noted that the views he was sharing were his own and not … Continue Reading

SEC Charges Ripple and Two Executives, Alleging XRP Is a Security

On Dec. 22, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or the Commission) filed an action against Ripple Labs Inc. (Ripple or the Company) and two of its executives, alleging that they violated Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (Securities Act) by raising over $1.3 billion through an unregistered, ongoing securities … Continue Reading

Telegram: Deconstructing One of the Biggest Blockchain Cases of 2020

The Telegram case is arguably the most important case of 2020 involving the legal classification of blockchain-based digital assets. Because it is often cost-prohibitive for companies to challenge the government in court, the Telegram litigation offered a unique opportunity for the parties to present arguments on several complex legal issues. Given the lack of judicial … Continue Reading

SEC Wins Case Against Kik and Adds Precedent for Digital Assets

On Sept. 30, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) motion for sum mary judgment against Kik Interactive Inc. (Kik) and denied Kik’s cross-motion for summary judgment. As we previously reported, the SEC challenged Kik’s compliance with the federal securities laws in … Continue Reading

Court Applies Single Scheme Theory To Grant the SEC’s Preliminary Injunction in Telegram Cryptocurrency Case

On March 24, Judge P. Kevin Castel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) motion for a preliminary injunction in the closely followed Telegram case. The preliminary injunction continues to prevent the delivery by Telegram Group Inc. and TON Issuer (collectively, Telegram) of … Continue Reading
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