Virtual Currency

Virtual Currency (aka Digital Currency or Digital Money) is a type of currency or medium of exchange that is not issued by any government nor guaranteed by a government currency. Despite lacking legal tender... more +
Virtual Currency (aka Digital Currency or Digital Money) is a type of currency or medium of exchange that is not issued by any government nor guaranteed by a government currency. Despite lacking legal tender status, Virtual Currency is still traded and exchanged in some environments, typically online environments or communities. Bitcoin is the most well-known form of Virtual Currency.    less -
News & Analysis as of

DOJ Announces Charges Against Two Florida Men for Operating Underground Bitcoin Exchange

On July 21, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, along with the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the FBI and the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office...more

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

Advertising Law - July 2015 #3

Harlem Globetrotters Get an Assist From CARU - In a rare loss, the Harlem Globetrotters agreed, at the direction of the Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU), that their age-screening practices for the company's...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

FBI warns of continued use of Cryptowall ransomware schemes

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center recently issued an alert “Criminals Continue to Defraud and Extort Funds from Victims Using Cryptowall Ransomware Schemes” that indicates that the Center continues to receive...more

It’s All About the Blockchain

Just returning from a blockchain workshop in London, where I worked with a number of incredible people to consider solutions to some of the pressing regulatory issues impacting the blockchain technology. While considering...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

Federal Reserve Releases First Determination of Aggregate Consolidated Liabilities of all Financial Companies - On July 1, the Federal Reserve Board released its first determination of the aggregate consolidated...more

Financial Action Task Force Issues Guidance Urging Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Currencies and Services

On June 29, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) issued a report, Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Currencies,part of a staged approach focusing on the points of intersection that provide gateways to the...more

New York BitLicense Regulations Virtually Certain to Significantly Impact Transactions in Virtual Currencies

The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) recently issued its final BitLicense regulations with respect to Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The new regulations require the licensing of, and establish...more

Mobile App Developer Settles with FTC and New Jersey AG Over Virtual Currency Mining

On June 29, a mobile app developer entered into an agreement with the FTC and the New Jersey AG to settle allegations that the developer engaged in deceptive and unfair practices by marketing its rewards app, called “Prized,”...more

Lines Crossed: From Enforcing to Breaking the Law

Silk Road was a notorious black market for narcotics that used seemingly untraceable digital currencies (i.e., Bitcoins) to facilitate illegal activities on the “dark web.” Last week, former Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”)...more

NY BitLicense Update: 45 Days to Apply

After almost a year of discourse and revision, New York’s Department of Financial Services’ final “BitLicense” regulation has been published in the New York State Register and an application has been made available. This...more

August 10 Deadline Set for New York Virtual Currency Firms to Apply for BitLicense

On June 24, the New York State Register published the Department of Financial Services’ BitLicense framework, requiring companies and individuals who provide virtual currency services involving New York or a New York Resident...more

DOJ Assistant AG Caldwell Delivers Remarks at the ABA’s National Institute on Bitcoin and Other Digital Currencies

Today, Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell delivered remarks at the ABA’s National Institute on Bitcoin and Other Digital Currencies. Speaking on the DOJ Criminal Division’s approach to the developing landscape of...more

DOJ Criminal Chief Warns Financial Institutions about Bitcoin

On June 26, 2015 at the ABA National Institute on Bitcoin and Other Digital Currencies, Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell sent a targeted warning to financial institutions that deal with Bitcoin and other virtual...more

New York BitLicense Rules Have Far-Reaching Effects on Virtual Currency Businesses

The final rules’ significant operational requirements for licensees could prove to be expensive and substantial barriers to entry for small businesses interested in engaging in virtual currency business activities in New...more

Expect Focus - ONLINE HEALTH CARE: NOT SO FAST Telemedicine Hits A Few Speed Bumps, Volume II, Spring 2015

In This Issue: - IN THE SPOTLIGHT • Risky Business: Common Cyber Security Risks, Expensive Consequences - LIFE INSURANCE • Ninth Circuit Finds Bonus Indexed Annuity Delivers Exactly...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

State Regulation of Virtual Currency: A Recap

This may be the year of the virtual currency. Virtual currencies have garnered much media, investor, and government attention. But, as venture capital funding continues to pour into the industry—more than $1 billion is...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

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

FinCEN Enforcement and Regulatory Focus—Transparency in Real Estate Transactions, Virtual Currency and More

Why it matters - Transparency in the financial system was underscored as a key focus for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) by Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery in a speech before the West Coast AML Forum...more

The NYDFS Finalizes its BitLicense Proposal

On June 3, 2015, the New York Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) issued a final rule regarding its “BitLicense” regulatory regime (“Final Rule”). The Final Rule follows an initial proposal from July 2014 and a revised...more

NY Dept. of Financial Services releases final Bitcoin license regulations

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) made history last summer when it proposed Bitcoin regulations (reportedly the first in the nation) including the requirement that financial firms handling virtual...more

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