As digital assets businesses assess their evolving regulatory outlook, the announcement earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Justice that 150 federal prosecutors will now devote substantial time and resources to prosecuting crimes involving cryptocurrency and digital assets looked like storm clouds rolling in. And for their lawyers, it sounded like a phone ringing.

“The industry has been waiting for guidance. The industry would not prefer guidance via enforcement actions, but it appears that is part of what they will receive,” said Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner litigation partner Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor in the Securities and Commodities Fraud Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.