Areas of Focus
Greenberg Traurig's global Blockchain & Digital Assets Group comprises more than 100 attorneys across multiple legal disciplines in key financial hubs around the world, providing a centralized approach to blockchain and digital asset matters. We leverage our diverse experience to advise clients on matters ranging from token structuring, fund formation, investment strategies, financial regulation and registration, international tax planning and structuring, stable coins and asset-backed digital assets, infrastructure applications, technology licensing and development, mining, securities compliance, cryptocurrency exchanges and trading, and blockchain-as-a-service. As new products and services emerge in this rapidly developing industry, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), staking, and other innovations, our team is able to react quickly and provide clients with best practices and the latest regulatory guidance and interpretation.
Our multidisciplinary approach enables the team to readily anticipate, recognize, and address the legal challenges that our clients may face with respect to blockchain and digital asset development or utilization. Our dedicated response team consists of experienced attorneys with diverse backgrounds in securities, commodities and broker-dealer regulations, entity and fund formation, financing, exchange formation, federal and state financial services regulation, technology and intellectual property licensing, privacy concerns, cybersecurity issues, and taxation. We also utilize resources from our robust Government Law & Policy Practice, which regularly advises governments and municipalities on evolving or model regulatory standards and other pertinent matters relating to blockchain and digital assets.
Advising on Blockchain and Smart Contract Technology Implementations
As blockchain applications and smart contracts introduce automation to entirely new functions, our attorneys advise clients on appropriate standards and protocols for the deployment of blockchain applications and smart contract coding to ensure that clients can meet the demands of regulators, law enforcement, and any trier of fact or law. As blockchain technology continues to grow and evolve, so do uncertainties about obligations surrounding the potential scope of and protocols for (i) regulator and auditor access to blockchain and smart contracts data, (ii) the reporting, authentication, and certification of controls, and (iii) retention, production, and authentication of records relating to disputes. We are actively engaged in assessing and considering emerging data privacy and security obligations relating to client data and end user data on the blockchain, and in assisting client legal and regulatory preparations and negotiations relating to these matters.
Cryptocurrency and Digital Assets (including NFTs)
As cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, including NFTs, have gained market acceptance in recent years as a fundraising vehicle for our clients, a critical part of a blockchain platform, or for consumptive use, our team carefully evaluates each opportunity in terms of the business and financing requirements of the client, as well as the emergent risks and costs associated with securities and other regulatory compliance obligations, market volatility, and other factors. The market for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets is in constant evolution; our team is committed to assisting clients with maximizing their opportunities in any environment and helping to develop legally-compliant structures. Our team stays abreast of existing laws and recent enforcement actions, decisions, rulings, and orders, as well as legal trends, upcoming legislation, and technical developments, helping clients to anticipate and prepare for potential compliance requirements and legal and regulatory changes.
Greenberg Traurig’s Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team comprises dedicated former government officials and experienced white collar defense attorneys with the industry-specific knowledge and skills to help clients navigate today’s complex and evolving cryptocurrency enforcement landscape.
With cryptocurrencies and other digital assets continuing to gain market acceptance and market share, scrutiny from regulators and law enforcement is on the rise. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and Department of Justice (DOJ) all have announced an increased focus on regulation and enforcement in this space. For example, in October 2021, DOJ announced the creation of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) to spearhead complex investigations and prosecutions of criminal misuse of cryptocurrency and to recover illicit proceeds laundered through cryptocurrency.
Our team consists of former federal prosecutors and high-ranking officials from the DOJ and SEC, including from the DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS), National Security Division, and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. We guide clients through the enforcement landscape, including internal investigations, representation in government investigations, and defense of civil and criminal cases involving alleged fraud, market manipulation, Bank Secrecy Act violations, violations of securities and commodities laws, and sanctions violations.
GT's Overheard on the Block(chain) blog provides timely updates on the regulatory and legal developments in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector. Our multidisciplinary team covers the key issues important to our clients – investment strategies, financial regulation and registration, international tax planning and structuring, stable coins and asset-backed digital assets, token structuring, infrastructure applications, technology licensing and development, securities compliance, cryptocurrency exchanges and trading, blockchain-as-a-service, and fund formation.
To learn more about our capabilities, please feel free to reach out to our Blockchain & Digital Assets Group contacts.