Joanna F. Wasick

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Ethereum Moves to PoS; Firms Launch Crypto, NFT Initiatives; EO Crypto Energy Impact Report Published; Crypto Addressed by OFAC, DOJ, SEC, U.S. Senators

In this issue: • Ethereum Network Completes Transition to Proof of Stake Consensus• Crypto Exchange, Bitcoin Futures ETF Launch; Crypto Adoption Data Published• Major Coffee and Scotch Brands Launch NFT Initiatives• OFAC Adds Crypto Public Keys to SDN List, Addresses Tornado Cash Sanctions• Major U.S. Exchange Backs Lawsuit Challenging OFAC Tornado Cash Sanctions• Office of … Continue Reading

SEC Chair Stands Firm: ‘Vast Majority’ of Cryptocurrency Tokens Are Securities

In prepared remarks delivered at the Practising Law Institute’s “SEC Speaks” program on Sept. 8, Chair Gensler emphasized and reiterated his long-standing position that the vast majority of cryptocurrency tokens are securities, and he noted that “only a small number of tokens, even though they may represent a significant portion of the crypto market’s aggregate … Continue Reading

NFT Initiatives Launch Across Markets; US Banking Regulators Address Crypto; DOJ and Congress Target Crypto Fraud; FBI Cites Risks as DeFi Hacks Continue

In this issue: • NFT Initiatives Launch in Ticket Sales, Social Media and College Football• US Banking Regulators Publish DeFi Analysis, Address Crypto in Speeches• DOJ Targets Crypto Fraud, House Subcommittee Addresses Consumer Risks• FBI Cites DeFi Hacking Threats as Hacks Continue; Reports Identify ISIS NFT NFT Initiatives Launch in Ticket Sales, Social Media and … Continue Reading

New York State Department of Financial Services Publishes First Crypto Industry Consent Order

On August 1, 2022, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS” or “Department”) issued a Consent Order, imposing a $30 million fine on Robinhood Crypto, LLC (“Robinhood”), a trading platform that allows customers to trade in cryptocurrency, for allegedly failing to comply with New York anti-money laundering (“AML”) and cybersecurity regulations. In addition … Continue Reading

New NFT Initiatives Launch Across Industries; Banking Agencies Publish Crypto Guidance; Enforcement Agencies Bring Crypto Actions; Crypto Hacks Reported

In this issue: • New NFT Initiatives Announced in Jewelry, Automobile and Liquor Industries• US Banking Agencies Publish Notices on Crypto Firms and Deposit Insurance• Multiple Agencies Target Cryptocurrency Fraud and Regulatory Violations• Nomad Bridge Hacked, Stolen Crypto Valued at Approximately $200 Million• Multiple Hacks Reported Across Various Sectors of the Cryptocurrency Market New NFT … Continue Reading

Applying the Bank Secrecy Act, FinCEN Regulations, and Sanctions to the Nascent NFT Market

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) often involve two areas with known money laundering and terrorist financing risks: cryptocurrencies and high-value assets, like art. As detailed below, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has provided guidance on the applicability of statutes related to anti-money laundering and terrorist financing (AML) to cryptocurrencies. Recent actions and statements … Continue Reading

USPTO to Address NFTs; Treasury Dept. Publishes Digital Asset Fact Sheet; Financial Regulators Address Digital Assets; Crypto Enforcement Continues

In this issue: • CryptoPunk Sold for $2.6M, USPTO to Address NFTs, Court Approves NFT Service• Treasury Dept. Publishes Digital Asset Policy Fact Sheet, Seeks Public Comment• Multiple Financial Regulatory Bodies Publish Reports on Digital Assets• Crypto Enforcement Targets Interest Products, Unlicensed Money Transmission… Continue Reading

Financial and Crypto Firms Explore Integration; NFT Market Expands; FATF/Basel Publish Crypto Guidance; DOJ/CFTC Bring Crypto Actions; DeFi Hacks Continue

In this issue: Financial Firm Launches Crypto Group, MakerDAO Votes to Integrate with Bank NFT Market Continues to Expand with Brand Activations and Infringement Suit FATF and Basel Committee Publish New Guidance on Cryptocurrencies DOJ, CFTC Bring Multiple Enforcement Actions Against Crypto Fraud Schemes North Korean Lazarus Group Suspected in Recent DeFi Hack Financial Firm … Continue Reading

New Stablecoins, Cryptocurrency Products and NFT Initiatives Launch; Ukraine Sells Donated NFT; SEC and OSC Bring Crypto Enforcement Actions

In this issue: • New Fiat-Pegged Stablecoins Launch, BIS Publishes New Findings on CBDCs• Traditional Financial Firms and Startups Launch New Cryptocurrency Products• NFT Ecosystem Expands; Ukrainian Government Sells NFT for Over $100,000• Canadian and US Securities Regulators Continue Crypto Enforcement Actions New Fiat-Pegged Stablecoins Launch, BIS Publishes New Findings on CBDCs By Jordan R. … Continue Reading

Financial Firms and Crypto Networks Launch Initiatives; Nonprofit Challenges Crypto Tax Provision; Crypto Enforcement Continues; UST Analysis Published

In this issue:• Firms Announce New Crypto Initiatives; Data Published on Crypto and NFT Use• Nonprofit Coin Center Files Lawsuit Challenging Crypto Provision of Tax Code• OpenSea and Chainlink Announce Network Transitions• SEC Investigates Stablecoins, Crypto Exchanges; DOJ Seizes Dark Market• Report Analyzes UST Collapse, Australia Reports Losses to Crypto Scams Firms Announce New Crypto … Continue Reading

An Introduction to Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are the latest advancement in the ongoing evolution of the blockchain market. To help put this new phenomenon into context, the BakerHostetler Blockchain team has prepared a series of papers that examine NFTs from various perspectives. In the first paper in the series, we introduce NFTs from the technological and market perspectives. … Continue Reading

Crypto Products and Mining Initiatives Launch; Sports and Spirits Firms Embrace Blockchain; US Agencies Seek Crypto Input, Address Risks, Target Crimes

In this issue: • New European Crypto ETF Launches, Bitcoin Mining Sees Wider Adoption• Sports Leagues and Alcohol Brands Expand Blockchain Partnerships• Congress Addresses CBDC, Commerce Dept. Seeks Input on Digital Assets• SEC and FinCEN Officials Comment on Cryptocurrency Sector Risks• US Law Enforcement Targets Crypto Scams and Sanctions Evasion New European Crypto ETF Launches, … Continue Reading

New CBDC and NFT Data Released; OFAC Adds Mixer and Public Keys to SDN List; Multiple Crypto Enforcement Actions; Stablecoin Risks on Display

In this issue: • BIS Releases Survey on CBDC Initiatives; New Crypto Products Launch• 2022 NFT Market Data Released; Brands Continue NFT Initiatives• OFAC Sanctions Cryptocurrency Mixer, Adds New Public Keys to SDN List• Multiple Crypto Enforcement Actions Announced by CFTC, DOJ and SEC• Multistate Enforcement Action Targets Metaverse Casino’s NFT Offering• Algorithmic Stablecoins Collapse; … Continue Reading

Banks and Retailers Embrace Crypto, Bitcoin Environmental Costs Debated, New NFT Initiatives Launch, Various Agencies Address Crypto, DeFi Hacks Continue

In this issue: • Banks and Retailers Venture Further into Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain• Congress Spars with Industry on Environmental Impact of Bitcoin Mining• New NFT Offerings Revealed by Entertainment, Social and Crypto Companies• FinCEN Director and NY DFS Address Cryptocurrency Risks• DOJ Targets Crypto Fraud, SEC Doubles Crypto Staff, JF Issues NFT Red Flags• Hackers … 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

Crypto and NFT Pilots Launch Across Industries; Paper Analyzes Bitcoin Use in El Salvador; Crypto Enforcement Continues in US; New Foreign Crypto Regs

In this issue: • Crypto Pilots Launch in Social Media, 401(k) Plans and Municipal Bitcoin Mining• NBER Publishes Paper Analyzing Bitcoin Usage in El Salvador• Brands Enter NFT Market Across Industries, New NFT Platforms Launch• Crypto Firm Enters AML Consent Order; Stablecoins and Wallets in Focus• Foreign Governments Publish New Crypto Legislation and Policy Papers• … Continue Reading

Banks Expand Digital Asset Offerings; Crypto Market Actors Critique SEC Proposal; New OFAC Crypto Sanctions; Agencies Issue Warnings; DeFi Hacked

In this issue: • Banks Expand Digital Asset Offerings, BIS Report Addresses CBDCs• Cryptocurrency Market Actors Publish Critiques of Recent SEC Proposal• OFAC Sanctions North Korean Crypto Hackers and Russian Crypto Miner• Law Enforcement in US, Australia Issue Warnings as DeFi Hacks Continue Banks Expand Digital Asset Offerings, BIS Report Addresses CBDCs By Keith R. … Continue Reading

New Crypto Payment Initiatives; Regulators Address Crypto in Speeches; Lawmakers Propose Legislation; OFAC Sanctions Crypto Actors; DeFi Hacked 

In this issue: • Crypto Payment Initiatives Announced in Stablecoins, Lightning Network, Mining• SEC Chairman and Comptroller of the Currency Address Crypto in Speeches• SEC Addresses Crypto Accounting, Commissioner Peirce Voices Criticisms• Stablecoins Take Center Stage in Proposed Legislation, Reports and UN Donation• OFAC Sanctions Russian Dark Markets, Adds 100 Crypto Public Keys to SDN … Continue Reading

Money Laundering Concerns Prompt EU Parliament to Approve Privacy-Reducing Crypto Rules

On March 31, 2022, two European Parliament committees – the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (the “Committees”) – voted in favor of new rules  (the “Rules”) that would change the way cryptocurrency transactions are treated by the European Union (EU) and would require that … Continue Reading

Digital Asset Platforms, Blockchain Supply Chain Initiatives Grow; Enforcement Actions Target Crypto Yield Products and Fraud; DeFi Hacked for $600M

In this issue: • Digital Asset Platforms Expand Across Payments, Art and Sports Industries• Blockchain Supply Chain Initiatives Announced Across Industries• Crypto Exchange Faces Multistate Enforcement Action over Yield Products• DOJ and Manhattan DA Bring Enforcement Actions for NFT and Crypto Fraud• DeFi Network Hacked for over $600 Million in Cryptocurrencies Digital Asset Platforms Expand … Continue Reading

Crypto Payment Offerings Launch; Exchanges Achieve Foreign Approvals; Ukraine Legalizes Crypto; Regulators Issue Warnings; $28M in Bitcoin Seized

In this issue: Payments Firm Unveils Crypto Services, Exchanges Achieve Foreign Approvals Blockchain Network Developments: Ethereum 2.0, Wallets, DAOs and Mining Crypto Legalized in Ukraine; New Crypto Sanctions Screening Tools Launch Regulators Issue Warnings on Crypto Retirement Plans, ATMs and Sanctions DOJ Extradites Individual Charged with Ransomware; $28M in Bitcoin Seized Payments Firm Unveils Crypto … Continue Reading

Ripple Case Presses Forward

The two individual defendants in the Ripple case, Bradley Garlinghouse and Christian A. Larsen, suffered a setback this week when the court denied their motions to dismiss. Judge Analisa Torres, District Court judge for the Southern District of New York, ruled that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had adequately pleaded that the … 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

Executive Order Addresses Digital Assets; Banks and Restaurants Launch Crypto Initiatives; FinCEN Issues Alert; SEC, CFTC and DOJ Bring Actions

In this issue: President Biden Issues Executive Order Addressing Digital Assets Banks Join USDF ‘Stablecoin’ Consortium, Pursue Crypto Custody Offerings U.S. Restaurants Adopt Crypto; Swiss City Calls Crypto ‘De Facto’ Legal Tender Cryptocurrency Sanctions Compliance Activity Spikes Following Russian Actions SEC, CFTC and DOJ Bring Charges Alleging Cryptocurrency Fraud Schemes President Biden Issues Executive Order … Continue Reading
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