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David Zaslowsky

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Two firms – cryptocurrency mining pool Simplecoin and bitcoin gaming platform Chopcoin – are shutting down as a result of the upcoming EU anti-money laundering rules.   AMLD5, the EU’s 5th anti-money laundering directive, will come into effect on January 10, 2020.  Among the changes AMLD5 brings about are an expanded scope for regulation regarding crypto platforms and wallets, centrally determined obligations for performing AML due diligence, stricter identification requirements for pre-paid card purchases, and the end…

On November 6, 2019, U.S. prosecutors in the Southern District of New York announced charges against Asa Saint Clair for his participation in an investment scheme tied to a purported digital coin offering called IGOBIT.  Saint Clair allegedly participated in a scheme to defraud victims into providing loans tied to the launch of IGOBIT by World Sports Alliance, a purported intergovernmental organization focused on promoting international development through sports, and falsely promised investors guaranteed returns…

On October 11, 2019 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it has filed an emergency action and obtained temporary restraining order against two offshore entities conducting an alleged unregistered, ongoing digital token offering in the U.S. and overseas that has raised more than $1.7 billion of investor funds. According to the SEC’s complaint, Telegram Group Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary TON Issuer Inc. began raising capital in January 2018 to finance the companies’…

Last December, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued  a public call for feedback to “better inform the Commission’s understanding” of the Ethereum network and the cryptocurrency ether.  The CFTC said input would better inform the agency in the event that market participants submit proposals to list new cryptocurrency-based futures or derivatives products. The CFTC has already recognized the trading of Bitcoin-based derivatives. Speaking at the Yahoo! Finance All Markets Summit on Thursday October 10, and as reported by…

The Bank of The Republic of Burundi issued a statement in which it banned the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. The Statement said, “Since virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies are not regulated and are not issued or guaranteed by any Government or Central Bank, these currencies do not have legal tender in the territory of Burundi.” The measure was justified as a consumer protection measure: “virtual currencies are traded on unregulated online platforms around the…

In 2018, the Marshall Islands passed a Sovereign Currency Act, declaring its intention to release a new, national digital currency.  In an essay published by Coindesk on September 4, The Honorable David Paul, Minister In-Assistance to the President and Environment of the Marshall Islands, stated that the official launch of the cryptocurrency – to be known as the sovereign (SOV) coin — will be announce at Invest:Asia 2019, upcoming in Singapore on September 12.  Currently,…

In July, the IRS announced that it had begun sending letters to taxpayers who may have failed to properly report income and pay any tax associated with cryptocurrency transactions or who did not properly report such transactions. The IRS expects to send more than 10,000 letters before the end of August. Taxpayers who have not properly reported their cryptocurrency transactions are, where appropriate, liable for tax, penalties, and interest, and in certain cases, may be…

On August 12, 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced settled charges against a New England-based blockchain company for offering and selling approximately $6.3 million of securities to the public in unregistered transactions. According to the SEC’s order, in late 2017, SimplyVital Health, Inc. publicly announced its plan to conduct an ICO to raise money to further its development of Health Nexus, a “healthcare-related blockchain ecosystem.” SimplyVital offered a new token called Health Cash,…

On August 13, 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced on fraud charges against a Brooklyn individual and two entities under his control who allegedly engaged in a fraudulent scheme to sell digital securities to investors and to manipulate the market for those securities. The SEC filed charges against Reginald “Reggie” Middleton, a self-described “financial guru,” and two entities he controls, Veritaseum, Inc. and Veritaseum, LLC (collectively, Veritaseum).  The complaint, alleges that the Defendants…

Texas has been one of the more active states in the United States when it comes to cryptocurrency enforcement.  The Texas State Securities Board was the first state securities regulator to enter an enforcement order against a cryptocurrency firm and, to date, the Securities Commissioner has entered 24 administrative orders involving 62 individuals and entities. In June, the State Securities Board started an investigative sweep of suspect cryptocurrency offerings after the price of bitcoin nearly tripled over a period of…