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As the adoption of cryptocurrencies — or digital currencies that are encrypted for security — spreads throughout the business and financial sectors, so too do the concerns that lack of regulation render the new-age currency susceptible to fraud, manipulation, and to being used as a vehicle for money laundering. Nevertheless, recent efforts by U.S. enforcement agencies to apply and enforce financial regulations indicate that cryptocurrency-based transactions will be under greater scrutiny than ever before.

This article appeared in Business Crimes Bulletin, an ALM publication covering financial and white-collar crime. For Corporate Counsel, Litigators, Managing Partners, Defense Attorneys. Visit the website to learn more.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently issued a report suggesting that it broadly considers Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) — a popular method of raising investment funds through cryptocurrency, which function like traditional securities offerings — to be subject to federal securities laws, and has since established a Cyber Unit that will target securities violations involving ICOs. Now, those involved in global ICOs and similar transactions will need to consider whether the cryptocurrencies concerned are securities, as well as the extent to which U.S. securities laws apply to such transactions made outside the United States.

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