Bitcoins

News & Analysis as of

Bitcoin Week in Review 07.20.15 – 07.24.15

Domestic Developments - Florida. Anthony Murgio and Yuri Lebedev, operators of bitcoin exchange service Coin.mx were arrested on July 21, 2015 for operating the exchange without a money transmission license. The U.S....more

CRA: Bitcoins may be Specified Foreign Property

The CRA recently provided its views on whether digital currency, including Bitcoins, are considered “specified foreign property” under the foreign property reporting rules in section 233.3 of the Income Tax Act. Under...more

Virtual Currencies are Getting Attention from Industry and Bank Regulators

Virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, once a novel means of exchange, have become so commonplace that in May of this year the New York Stock Exchange created a first-of-its-kind index (the “Index”) representing the U.S. dollar...more

ITC Sheds Light on Economic Prong of Domestic Industry Under Subsection 337(a)(3)(C) and Issues General Exclusion Order

On June 26, 2015, the ITC handed down its Commission Opinion in Certain Loom Kits for Creating Linked Articles, Inv. No. 337-TA-923, Comm’n Op. (Feb. 3, 2015) (hereinafter “Loom Kits ”), granting a general exclusion order. ...more

Merchants and Processors Beware: FTC Consumer Warning About Use of Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Is a Warning to You Too

The June 22 FTC blog posting warning consumers about the use of bitcoins and other virtual currencies should be a call to action for those accepting or facilitating the acceptance of bitcoin and other virtual currencies in...more

Virtual Currency Community Disappointed by Final BitLicense Regulation

Why it matters: The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) released the final regulations for the much-anticipated BitLicense, the first state regulatory regime designed specifically for virtual/digital currency...more

Risk of ”Standard-Essential” Patent Litigation to Bitcoin

It’s tempting to think that Bitcoin services would be immune to patent litigation. After all, Bitcoin protocol is open source and seems to be in the public domain. Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous designer of...more

SEC Says Fantasy Stock Trading Violates Securities Laws; Charges Others for Selling Illegal Security-Based Swaps

The SEC issued an Investor Alert which says fantasy stock trading for small amounts of money can violate provisions of securities laws implemented by the Dodd-Frank Act. I bet the Congressional drafters of these provisions...more

Plus ça change…NYDFS releases final BitLicense regulations

The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) released final BitLicense regulations on June 3, 2015, almost eleven months after the initial BitLicense proposal was issued. The initial proposal went through two...more

Overstock Issues First Cryptosecurity

In January 2014, Overstock.com became the first major online retailer to accept payment in bitcoin. Less than eighteen months later, Overstock is now the first company to offer qualified buyers the option of purchasing...more

NYDFS Releases Final Rules for Licensing Virtual Currency Businesses in New York

After multiple proposals and significant industry comment, the NYDFS has released a final “BitLicense” framework that establishes a comprehensive licensing and regulatory regime for New York businesses engaged in activities...more

NY DFS Reveals Final BitLicense Requirements for Digital Currency Firms

On June 3, New York’s departing superintendent of financial services, Benjamin Lawsky, revealed that the agency has adopted final regulations of the BitLicense, the regulatory framework in which digital currency firms operate...more

Bridging the Week - June 2015 #2

NYDFS Issues BitLicense Framework for Regulating Virtual Currency Firms - The New York State Department of Financial Services issued final regulations requiring a so-called “BitLicense” and establishing minimum...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - June 2015

Regulatory Developments: Superintendent Lawsky Announces Final BitLicense Regulations - New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky, at the BITS Emerging Payments Forum,...more

Ripple Labs Fined $700,000 Over Bank Secrecy Act Violations: Lessons Learned from FinCEN’s first Civil Enforcement Action Against...

On May 5, 2015, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) fined Ripple Labs Inc. (“Ripple Labs”) and its wholly owned subsidiary XRP Fund II LLC (“XRP II”) $700,000 for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”)....more

Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht Receives Life Sentence

On May 29, 2015, after a lengthy criminal investigation and multi-week trial, Ross Ulbricht, the mastermind behind Silk Road—one of the most famous enterprises to utilize Bitcoin currency—was sentenced to life in prison in a...more

Bitcoin Basics for Corporate Counsel

Bitcoin, the online “cryptocurrency,” is not just for anti-government doomsday fanatics and drug dealers. Seen everywhere from SEC filings, to state legislature hearings, to an episode of The Good Wife, it is both an...more

Around the Virtual World: May 4 – 8, 2015

A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods, and other social media. In This Issue: - Goldman a Lead Investor in Funding Round for Bitcoin Startup Circle - Hands-on With...more

Bitcoin Exchange Receives First License in New York State

The New York Times reports that New York State’s top financial regulator has granted the first license to a Bitcoin exchange, allowing it to open legally to customers across the country....more

[Event] Digital Media Update 2015 -May 7, Santa Monica, CA

Please join Sheppard Mullin and Bird & Bird attorneys for cocktails and a discussion about the latest legal updates in digital media. Topics covered will include: - Net neutrality impact on digital media...more

Quantum Computers for Mining Bitcoins

Today’s computers encode data into bits – binary digits in one of two definite states, 0 or 1. Any calculation that needs to be performed with the bits is completed one at a time. Quantum physicists are racing to...more

Five Things to Know about New Jersey’s Taxation of Convertible Virtual Currency

On March 10, 2015, the New Jersey Division of Taxation issued Technical Advisory Memorandum TAM-2015-1, explaining its policy regarding convertible virtual currency. - The IRS has held that convertible virtual currency...more

U.S. Marshals to Auction 50,000 Bitcoins Seized During Investigation of Silk Road Operator

On February 18, the U.S. Marshals Service announced that it will auction 50,000 bitcoins seized from wallet files found on computer hardware belonging to Ross Ulbricht, who was recently convicted in connection with his...more

How Not to Use Bitcoin

The use of Bitcoin has both legal and potentially illegal applications. Bitcoin is just a contemporary version of the Informal Value Transfer System, (“IVTS”) which in some countries is known as the Hawala. The IVTS has been...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission recently filed an amicus brief defending its Dodd-Frank whistleblower rules. Those rules specify that the anti-retaliation provisions of those amendments to the Exchange Act protect those who chose not to...more

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