Robert A. Musiala

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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

Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Decreases; Crypto Addressed by CFTC Chair; Congress Addresses Crypto Tax, Accounting; Crypto Enforcement and Crimes Continue

In this issue: Bitcoin Network Mining Difficulty Continues Downward Trend Amid Heat Wave CFTC Chair Addresses Crypto; Proposed Bill Would Simplify Crypto Tax Rules Congress Members Criticize SEC Bulletin on Crypto Accounting Treatment DOJ, SEC and OFAC Continue Cryptocurrency Enforcement Actions Reports Show Hackers Turning to Cryptojacking and DeFi to Siphon Crypto Bitcoin Network Mining … 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

Crypto Platforms Achieve Foreign Approvals; DOJ Seizes Crypto Ransomware Funds; CFTC Adds Crypto Firms to RED List; Crypto Fraud and Threats Continue

In this issue: • Foreign Regulators Approve Crypto Platforms; Ethereum Approaching PoS• DOJ Seizes $500K in Ransomware Crypto; CFTC Adds Crypto Firms to RED List• Fraud, Mixers, Ransomware and the Darkweb: Cryptocurrency Threats Continue Foreign Regulators Approve Crypto Platforms; Ethereum Approaching PoS By Keith R. Murphy According to recent reports, several major cryptocurrency platforms have … 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

Navigating Contractual Relationships in the NFT Market

Participants in the fast-moving – but legally uncertain – non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace can maximize their business opportunities and mitigate risk by delineating their specific role early and clearly defining where their obligations begin and where their responsibilities end. Understanding and defining your role, and the role of your counterparties, is critical. Here are some … Continue Reading

DOJ Calls on International Partners to Improve Investigative Efficiency in Response to President Biden’s Executive Order on Risks Involving Digital Assets

In June 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a report (Report) recommending increased cooperation among international law enforcement agencies to combat threats and crime related to the use and proliferation of digital assets and to address obstacles unique to the asset class. Specific actions recommended by the Report include expanding U.S. relationships with international … 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

A Legal Practitioner’s Guide to NFTs, Digital Advertising and Media

In 2021, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) generated overall sales of close to $25 billion and became one of the year’s most defining cultural phenomena. This trend has continued with NFT sales topping $2 billion in the first quarter of 2022. In an effort to engage audiences and produce secondary revenue streams, brands—in sectors ranging from fashion … 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

New Crypto Products Launch, Draft Digital Assets Bill Released, Regulators Address Stablecoins, DOJ Publishes Crypto Report, Hacks and Scams Continue

In this issue: • Fintech and Crypto Firms Announce Myriad New Crypto Product Launches• Senators Release Digital Assets Bill, Crypto Activists Send Letter to Congress• NY DFS and Japan Address Stablecoins, BIS Addresses Crypto ‘Fragmentation’• DOJ Calls for International Cooperation in Fight Against Crypto Crime• CFTC Sues Crypto Exchange, NY AG Issues Investor Alert, UST … 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 Payment Initiatives Launch; Report Cites Evolving Crypto Views; G7, ECB, BIS Address Crypto Risks; DOJ, CFTC Target NFT Insider Trading, Crypto Fraud

In this issue: • New Cryptocurrency Payments Systems, Tokens and Trade Associations Launch• Cryptocurrency Industry Report Notes Change in Consumer and Insider Views• Digital Asset and Blockchain Risks and Opportunities Addressed by G7, ECB, BIS• DOJ Brings First NFT Insider Trading Case, CFTC Action Targets Crypto Fraud New Cryptocurrency Payments Systems, Tokens and Trade Associations … 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

NFT Initiatives Continue; EU Issues Blockchain Healthcare Report; Crypto Addressed by Various US Regulators; State Actions Target Bitcoin ATMs, NFTs

In this issue: • Sports Teams and Messaging Apps Go All-In on NFTs, Potential Hack Foiled• Report on Blockchain in the European Healthcare Sector Published• US Treasury Secretary, FDIC, Acting Comptroller and EU Address Crypto• State Enforcement Actions Target Bitcoin ATM Operator and NFT Sellers Sports Teams and Messaging Apps Go All-In on NFTs, Potential … 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

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

Firms Expand Crypto Services; Networks Implement DAOs and Integrations; Congressmen Address SEC on Crypto; IRS and OECD Address Crypto Tax

In this issue: Investment Bank and Cryptocurrency Exchanges Expand Crypto Services From Australia to Africa, Cryptocurrency Sees Continued International Adoption ApeCoin Drops; Juno Holders Confiscate Funds; Polygon Integrates Simba Chain Congressmen Question SEC on Crypto; OECD and IRS Address Crypto Taxation Investment Bank and Cryptocurrency Exchanges Expand Crypto Services By Robert A. Musiala Jr. This … Continue Reading
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