Cryptocurrency

Blockchain
Ropes & Gray is at the vanguard of the digital asset legal market, advising clients across industries on matters related to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology that are critical to their business. Our attorneys stay current on the state of digital assets to tackle new legal issues as they arise.

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Overview

Ropes & Gray is one of the leading firms in the emerging market for cryptocurrency fund formation, investing, distribution and administration. Our attorneys have deep knowledge and experience in this space, and routinely counsel clients on the many novel issues raised by investments in cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. We keep our finger firmly on the pulse of cryptocurrency trends, many of which are influenced by the very clients we represent.

Legal challenges and opportunities in the digital asset world cut across industries and practice areas and, as such, call for a uniquely multidisciplinary approach. The depth of our complimentary practices, along with our integrated, cross-practice approach, allows us to advise clients in a wide variety of industries on the full range of cryptocurrency matters, including securities and commodities laws, enforcement, tax planning and structuring, private litigation relating to ICOs or exchange operations, and other business risk considerations.

A selection of the cryptocurrency issues we assist clients with include:

  • Formation of registered and private funds that intend to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and other digital assets
  • Investments in coins and tokens, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and Simple Agreements for Future Tokens (SAFTs)
  • Crafting compliance policies and procedures, including with respect to anti-money laundering/know-your-customer, custody, insider trading, and personal trading issues
  • Guidance through the regulatory and enforcement landscape, including analysis on compliance with SEC and CFTC rules
  • Tax considerations such as ECI and related trading safe harbor rules

Experience

  • Recent issues we have encountered while launching funds investing in cryptocurrencies include:
    • Determining whether a fund is engaged in a U.S. trade or business, or can rely on a safe harbor
    • Advising on whether coins or tokens exhibit the characteristics of securities under U.S. law
    • Permission of general solicitation and general advertising
    • Exploring options to custody coins and tokens
  • Other recent experience relating to cryptocurrency issues includes:
    • How to treat coins and tokens under existing compliance policies, including personal trading policies
    • Tracking the development of “market” terms in ICOs and SAFTs

Clients

  • Arrowstreet Capital
  • The Blockchain Association
  • The Decentralized Code Network (Deconet)
  • The Digital Asset Trade Association
  • Dragoneer Investment Group
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Founders Fund
  • Galaxy Asset Management
  • Gemini Trust Company
  • Harvard Management Company
  • PayStand
  • Protocol Labs (Filecoin)
  • Sequoia Capital 
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