Cryptocurrency: Evolving Regulatory Landscape, Recent SEC, CFTC, FinCEN, IRS Enforcement Actions

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide an up-to-date look at the current regulatory landscape for cryptocurrency issuers, investors and traders. The panel will discuss recent enforcement actions by the SEC, the CFTC, the IRS and FinCEN, and what the actions mean for companies engaged in blockchain ventures supported by cryptocurrency, as well as those operating platforms in which they are traded.

Description

Public and investor interest in blockchain technology and digital, or cryptocurrency, is at a fever pitch. Products and applications are rapidly evolving, but investing in these currencies involves significant risk. Counsel advising issuers and investors must understand the current regulatory and enforcement landscape relating to cryptocurrency.

Recently, the SEC and the CFTC have made several public announcements and filed actions on certain token sales the agencies allege breach agency regulations. The SEC’s view is that investors in most initial coin offerings (ICOs) are purchasing digital tokens not for their utility but as an investment, making them securities subject to registration requirements. The CFTC has stated that cryptocurrencies are commodities, giving it authority to bring actions for fraud and manipulation.

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has released guidance addressing “convertible” virtual currency. As most tokens are designed to be traded on liquid markets and have an equivalent value in real currency, the government deems them subject to FinCEN jurisdiction. The IRS has confirmed that cryptocurrencies are property and subject to tax on gains on the sale of cryptocurrency and salaries received in cryptocurrency.

Listen as our panel examines the regulatory framework which now exists for blockchain and cryptocurrency. The panel will discuss recent enforcement actions brought by the SEC, the CFTC, FinCEN and the IRS against various issuers, investors and traders in the industry, and the lessons learned.

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Outline

  1. Distributed ledgers, blockchain and digital currency
  2. SEC: Securities Act registration requirements; actions for noncompliance
  3. CFTC: cryptocurrency as a commodity; actions for fraud and manipulation
  4. FinCEN: “convertible” virtual currency; money laundering and other actions
  5. IRS: obligation to report capital gains and other income; recent actions

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Why does the SEC view most digital tokens as securities, and what are registration requirements?
  • When is cryptocurrency viewed as a commodity, and what are the ramifications for traders?
  • What makes a token a convertible currency, and what kinds of FinCEN enforcement actions have resulted?
  • Why might reporting transactions to the IRS be particularly problematic in the blockchain environment?

Faculty

Savic, Stefan
Stefan Savic

Partner
Shipkevich

Mr. Savic represents clients in all stages of litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings. His litigation...  |  Read More

Shipkevich, Felix
Felix Shipkevich

Principal
Shipkevich

Mr. Shipkevich's practice concentrates on futures, commodities, and derivatives regulatory, transactional, and...  |  Read More

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