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David Zaslowsky

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As the Wall Street Journal reported, on June 21, 2021: “The People’s Bank of China …said it summoned representatives of multiple institutions—including state-owned commercial banks and Ant Group Co.’s Alipay—and told them to “strictly implement” recent notices and guidelines from authorities on curbing risks tied to bitcoin and cryptocurrency fundraising activities. It was the latest sign that Beijing is intensifying its crackdown on unregulated virtual currencies.” The PBOC Statement talked about how cryptocurrencies are used…

We previously reported how, on April 3, 2020, multiple class-action law suits were filed in the Southern District of New York against a host of crypto exchanges and token issuers, including Block.one. One of those cases was dismissed, which led to five others then being withdrawn. The case against Block.one has now been settled. At the height of the ICO craze in 2017-18, Block.one raised a record $4 billion in its ICO, much of it…

On June 11, 2021, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission issued a statement that banned, among other things, all meme tokens. The statement said: The Notification prescribes that digital asset exchanges set their listing rules and prohibits the exchanges from providing services related to utility tokens or cryptocurrencies that have any of the following characteristics: (1) Meme token: having no clear objective or substance or underlying [sic], and whose price running on social media trends; (2) Fan token: tokenized…

If you happened to prepare your own tax return this year or at least looked at the top of the first page, you might have noticed that the IRS has literally moved cryptocurrency transactions to the top. We recently published an article in Bloomberg’s Tax Management Memorandum that looked at the aggressive moves the IRS is taking with respect to cryptocurrency. We looked at the disparate ways that the various U.S. government agencies define cryptocurrency,…

Early in the morning of June 9, 2021, President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador, 39, tweeted that the Salvadoran Congress had approved his proposed law that would make Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador. The vote was 62 out of 84. El Salvador thus becomes the first country to approve the use of Bitcoin as legal tender. The country currently uses the U.S. Dollar as its currency. Bitcoin will become legal tender in 90 days,…

According to the Coinbase website, “staking” is “the process of actively participating in transaction validation (similar to mining) on a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain. On these blockchains, anyone with a minimum-required balance of a specific cryptocurrency can validate transactions and earn Staking rewards.” On May 26, 2021, a Tennessee couple sued the IRS seeking a refund for taxes they paid on Tezos tokens that they earned through staking. As explained in their complaint: The Tezos public…

We have previously posted about how, in January 2020, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) became the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CTF) supervisor for cryptocurrency businesses in the UK.  On December 16, 2020, the FCA announced that cryptocurrency businesses that had filed to register with the FCA could continue operating under a temporary licensing regime for six months as the regulator dealt with a backlog of applications.  This was known as the Temporary Registrations…

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced on May 28, 2021 that it had filed an action against five individuals alleging that they promoted a global unregistered digital asset securities offering that raised over $2 billion from retail investors. These activities relate to BitConnect, which shut down its business in early 2018, shortly after, as we reported, the Texas State Securities Board issued a cease and desist letter. At that time, the regulator alleged that…

One of the byproducts of the initial coin offering craze was class action lawsuits that alleged that the underlying tokens were securities and that the securities law were violated because the offerings for those alleged securities did not comply with the securities laws. The US Securities and Exchange Commission continues to pursue cases for the improper sale of unregistered tokens. Not surprisingly, with the recent advent of the popularity of NFTs (non fungible tokens), a…

In February, we reported that both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Attorney General had brought proceeding against Coinseed, a company that purported to offer a mobile investment application that enabled users to invest in digital assets. On May 7, 2021, the AG’s office filed a motion asking the court for a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, and the appointment of a receiver to immediately block Coinseed and its CEO from…