Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Technology

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Drawing on 25 years serving as trusted counsel to banks, asset managers and other institutions in the financial services industry, RK&O provides a comprehensive approach for clients engaged in emerging technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Our particular expertise that is relevant to this rapidly evolving industry includes the following:

Regulation & Compliance

RK&O specializes in helping hedge funds, private equity funds and other global investment firms develop and implement compliance policies and procedures that are tailored to their complex businesses. In the course of that work, we regularly help clients to anticipate potential risks posed by new business lines and asset classes. We are able to use our extensive regulatory expertise to help clients ensure their compliance and risk management infrastructure is positioned to support expansion into new investment strategies that relate to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Commodities Enforcement & Litigation

RK&O has unrivaled experience in this decade’s key CFTC enforcement matters and their parallel civil litigations involving derivatives and intangible commodities. The CFTC is the lead U.S. regulator of non-ICO cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin – which the CFTC classifies as a commodity – and their derivative products.

Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Corruption & Sanctions Compliance

RK&O advises some of the most sophisticated global investors in connection with their U.S. anti-money laundering, economic sanctions and anti-corruption compliance efforts. In this regard, we are well equipped to help our clients navigate the rapidly evolving compliance expectations relating to cryptocurrencies and blockchain transactions and to assist our clients in developing modern due diligence procedures and other compliance safeguards to address these emerging technologies.

Securities Litigation

RK&O has a successful track record representing clients in investigations and litigations brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, SEC, FINRA, the New York Attorney General and other regulators in connection with the registration and sale of securities. Additionally, we have extensive experience and success handling complex securities law questions that may arise in private litigation relating to cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”).

Offshore Banking

RK&O is well acquainted with the U.S. criminal tax and other regulatory issues that could arise for U.S.-connected beneficial owners holding cryptocurrency positions offshore. By virtue of our extensive experience representing institutions and individuals in the U.S. Department of Justice’s offshore banking investigations and prosecutions, as well as representing offshore institutions through our regulatory and tax advisory practice, we are well prepared to advise clients in this area.

Representing Lawyers

With the SEC increasingly focused on the role lawyers and other gatekeepers play in advising on ICOs, RK&O’s experience defending and advising lawyers, multinational law firms and in-house legal departments in claims relating to their professional conduct makes us uniquely qualified to advise and represent lawyers targeted in government enforcement actions related to ICOs and cryptocurrencies.

Corporate & Finance Transactions

RK&O has extensive experience helping investment banks and hedge funds understand, trade and invest in new asset classes. As our clients explore cryptocurrencies and other blockchain-based assets we are equipped to assist them in structuring their transactions and managing the risks associated with these new financial products. Recently, we represented an investment fund using cryptocurrency-based indices in its trading strategy, including advising on regulatory issues and disclosure in its capital raising activities and on the licensing of the indices by the fund.