LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Bitcoins in Bankruptcy: Trouble Ahead for Investors and Bankruptcy Professionals?

It is hard to ignore the media attention surrounding Bitcoin these days. Within the last few months, the virtual currency has surged to new highs, was the focus of a Congressional hearing, and was the subject of comments by former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who stated that it and other such...

Bankruptcy Judge: Bitcoin CEO Must Come to the United States to Be Deposed

DALLAS — (Mealey’s) The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of bitcoin exchange operator MtGox Co. Ltd. today ordered the company’s CEO to fly to the United States from Japan to be deposed, a source told the LexisNexis Bankruptcy Report ( In Re: MtGox Co. Ltd...

Regulators Try to Get a Handle on Bitcoin

by Korey Clark Although cryptocurrencies, most notably bitcoin, have been around for a few years, they've been of interest mainly to tech-savvy libertarians and investors with low aversion to risk. Few state lawmakers have devoted much attention to them. But that isn't likely to last with...

Bitcoin Is Property, Not Currency, IRS Says – Notice Leaves Many Open Questions About Convertible Virtual Currencies

by Joseph H. Langhirt , David Plewa , and Michael Greenberg The Internal Revenue Service has joined several other jurisdictions in publishing guidance regarding the income tax consequences of certain convertible virtual currency transactions.[ 1 ] IRS Notice 2014-21[ 2 ] clarifies that existing general...

Elusive Bitcoin: Regulation of Bitcoin in the U.S. Part I

The phenomenon of Bitcoin (and virtual currency in general) presents an interesting legal conundrum. It is still not clear for many where does Bitcoin fit within our legal system, and whether and how to regulate it. Today, I would like to take a closer look at the Bitcoin network, the recent legal developments...

Elusive Bitcoin: Regulation of Bitcoin in the U.S. Part II

Today, I am going to summarize FinCEN’s regulations relating to Bitcoin. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ( FinCEN ) is an agency within the US Treasure Department. Its mission is to safeguard the financial system from illicit use, combat money laundering and promote national security....

Alt-Currency: What Bitcoin Means for Banking

Cosmologists argue that we live in a multiverse. Granted, it’s only a theory, but it’s a plausible one that’s strengthened by new evidence supporting decades-old scientific reasoning. Even though we may never be certain if ours is just one of many or even countless parallel universes...

Elusive Bitcoin: Regulation of Bitcoin in the U.S. Part III

In this third chapter of my blog about Bitcoin regulation, I am going to focus on regulation of Bitcoin by the CFTC and the SEC. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the "CFTC") is an independent federal agency that regulates derivative products tied to interest rates and commodities...

Bitcoin Regulation - Addressing Compliance & Risk Issues for Financial Institutions [WEBINAR]

In 2009, a talented programmer (or group of programmers) released the first virtual currency protocol, known as Bitcoin. The Bitcoin protocol, essentially a robust P2P payment system , has now spun several other virtual currencies (Litecoin, Dogecoin, etc..) and has the potential to transform existing...

CFPB Issues Advisory Concerning the Risks Associated With the Use of Virtual Currencies

by Zachary Q. Hoard On August 11, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a consumer advisory warning consumers about the risks of virtual currencies, also referred to as “digital currencies,” such as Bitcoin. The potential risks include the threat of hacking and scams...

Judge Fines Texas Man $40 Million For Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme

A federal judge has ordered a Texas man and his company to pay more than $40 million in disgorgement and civil penalties for operating a Ponzi scheme using the virtual currency Bitcoin. U.S. Magistrate Judge Amos L. Mazzant handed down the order against Trendon T. Shavers and his company, Bitcoin Savings...

Norton Rose Fulbright: The FTC & Bitcoin Mining Computers

By Susan Ross On September 18, 2014, a federal trial court in Missouri granted the Federal Trade Commission’s ex parte motion for a temporary restraining order, asset freeze, and appointment of a receiver for Butterfly Labs. Butterfly Labs made claims on its web site and on social media that...

Texas Man Arrested For $4.5 Million Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme

A Texas man has been arrested on wire fraud and securities fraud charges for his operation of what authorities allege was a Bitcoin-related Ponzi scheme that raised millions of dollars through a purported online digital hedge fund. Trendon Shavers, known in Bitcoin forums as "Pirateat40," was...

The SEC Increases Focus on Digital Currencies

It is clear that the SEC has been focusing on securities fraud involving digital currencies. In July 2013 , the SEC charged Trendon T. Shavers, the founder and operator of Bitcoin Savings and Trust, with defrauding investors in a Ponzi scheme involving Bitcoin. In June 2014 , the SEC charged a Bitcoin...