Ethics

A Lot of Lawyers Claim That They Accept Bitcoin… But Are They Doing It Wrong?

A lawyers’ ethics committee appointed by the Nebraska Supreme Court issued an opinion regarding whether lawyers in that state could receive payments in bitcoin; receive payments from third parties in bitcoin; and/or hold bitcoin for their clients.  This applies to any digital currency.  The committee was clearly well-informed and wrote …

Virtual Currency

Federal Court Allows Bitcoin Investor Suit to Proceed

A federal court judge in New Jersey entered an order today allowing a civil suit involving Bitcoin investments to proceed.  The Court ruled that it had jurisdiction over the case based upon the pleadings regarding diversity of the parties and the value of the case exceeding $70,000.   In fact, …

Virtual Currency

Are You a Coinbase User? Keep an Eye on This Tax Case

In November 2016, a federal court ordered that a summons from the IRS be served on Coinbase seeking detailed information on potentially one million virtual currency users. This could include you if you have a Coinbase wallet. The case is In The Matter of the Tax Liabilities of John Does, United …

Data Breach

South Florida-based Cryptsy Exchange Closed Down by Hackers (& Lawsuit)

If you log onto the once-popular virtual currency exchange, Cryptsy, you can see the virtual version of tumbleweeds blowing through a western town in the form of “volume – 00.00” across the board. On January 14, 2016, the host “Big” Paul Vernor posted this blog post stating that hackers had …

Virtual Currency

Federal Reserve: What Community Banks Should Know About Virtual Currency

The Federal Reserve System issues periodic newsletters to highlight information that community banks may find helpful in order to comply with Federal Reserve policy. To that end, the Federal Reserve’s “Community Banking Connections” is supposed to be a “primary source for information on guidance, resources, and tools to help community …

Virtual Currency

Christopher Hopkins Discusses “Bitcoin Litigation” at Atlanta Bitcoin Consumer Fair

Thanks to the Atlanta Bitcoin Consumer Fair for inviting me to speak about Bitcoin Litigation this Saturday. We discussed five pending bitcoin-related lawsuits including suits involving (1) mining hardware sellers, (2) mining companies, (3) exchanges, and (4) a suit over ownership of coins. More importantly, we discussed ways to avoid litigation AND …

Virtual Currency

Christopher Hopkins to Speak at Atlanta Bitcoin Consumer Fair

Christopher Hopkins will be speaking about “Bitcoin Litigation” from 1-2 pm, Saturday, April 18, 2015 at the Atlanta Bitcoin Consumer Fair.   In addition to his role as a digital currency advocate and one of the first lawyers in the bitcoin space, Mr. Hopkins is lead counsel in virtual currency …

Marijuana

Florida OFR Claims Marijuana and Virtual Currency Are “Emerging Threats”

Florida Office of Financial Regulation recently released a consumer publication, Fast Facts, which claimed that medical marijuana and virtual currency (bitcoins) were “emerging threats” in terms of investments. The pamphlet does not state the factual or anecdotal basis for those statements. The Fast Facts pamphlet is here.  See page 9. …

Virtual Currency

Christopher Hopkins Speaks At Miami Bitcoin – Regulatory Panel (TNABC)

The North American Bitcoin Conference was held in Miami Beach this weekend and included a discussion of regulatory issues among attorneys Jacob Farber, Kathryn Haun, Christopher Hopkins, Andrew Ittleman, and Marco Santori as well as non-lawyers Perianne Boring and Australian Senator Sam Dastyari. One topic that was stressed was that …

Virtual Currency

Florida Virtual Currency “Fibonacci” Lawsuit

As reported on Coindesk, we have filed suit on behalf of two defrauded purchasers against the “Fibonacci” manufacturing and mining organization (see Coindesk.com, “Florida Group Faces Fraud Charges for Alleged Altcoin Pump and Dump,” December 17, 2014).   You can read their excellent coverage here. A copy of the lawsuit …

Virtual Currency

FTC v. Butterfly Labs: Complaint and Response

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed suit against bitcoin-mining hardware manufacturer, BF Labs, Inc. d/b/a Butterfly Labs, on September 15, 2014 alleging misrepresentations and deceptive omissions regarding the marketing and manufacturing of the BitForce and Monarch mining machines.  Among other relief, the suit seeks temporary and permanent injunctions as well …

Virtual Currency

US v. Faiella and Shrem – Ruling on Bitcoin as “Money” or “Funds”

It has been widely reported that bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem is going to agree to a plea deal.   There has been less coverage, however, regarding the Judge’s August 18, 2014 Order. This Order is important to the US v. Faiella and Shrem case because the defendants lost their argument that bitcoin …

law & order

In Re Erik T. Voorhees (settlement): Not Really a Bitcoin Case

The hot bitcoin-related story involves the settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and bitcoin-advocate, Erik T. Voorhees. This case involves bitcoin but is not about bitcoin.  Stated differently, this case is not an attack on bitcoin.  It simply involves charges of a crime unrelated to the virtual currency …

Virtual Currency

What is Bitcoin: Currency, Property or Tulips?

A strange title to an article, I know.  But it will make sense at the end: Governments around the world are struggling to define, and therefore regulate or ban, virtual currency such as bitcoin.  Here in the U.S., various federal agencies have differing conclusions.  So do various states. Meanwhile, in …

Virtual Currency

CSBS Emerging Payments Task Force: Hearing on Bitcoin / Virtual Currency

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors’ (CSBS) Emerging Payments Task Force is holding a public hearing on Friday, May 16, 2014 in Chicago in order to seek information involved in legacy payment systems, retain payment innovations, and virtual currencies (namely bitcoin). If you’re unfamiliar with CSBS, it is a nationwide …