On December 17th, Alan Cohn hosted the 244th episode of The Cyberlaw Podcast. We took a deep dive into all things blockchain and cryptocurrency, discussing recent regulatory developments and projections for 2019.
Our episode begins with Alan welcoming Will Turner to Steptoe’s Corporate and Blockchain Practice. Turner joins the firm’s Chicago office as partner, bringing with him with more than two decades of experience in corporate and securities law, primarily with application to cryptocurrency, fund formation, investment transactions and mergers and acquisitions. Turner also handles matters involving capitalizations, project finance, restructurings and joint ventures. Will Turner explains why the crypto market became bear in 2018, associating this development with the increase in mergers and acquisitions activity in the crypto market. Moving into 2019, Will projects the “hot items” will be anti-money laundering and securities compliance. In addition, Will presents a more general overview of how the blockchain industry is no different from other industries.
Evan Abrams discusses the joint statement issued by the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the National Credit Union Administration urging use of technology to bolster anti-money laundering compliance. Abrams states that banks can and should be engaging with the industry and the importance of striking a balance between technology and privacy. Abrams also discusses the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions compliance risks for cryptocurrency companies. In 2019, Abrams projects increased attention on digital counterparts as blockchain-related financial institutions continue to grow. Evan Abrams also highlights the New York Department of Financial Services recent announcement authorizing Signature Bank, a New York State-chartered bank, to offer a digital payment platform called Signet that leverages blockchain technology.
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