The world sat up and took special notice of the blockchain and "crypto" space when Initial Coin Offerings, or "ICOs," became some of the biggest news to hit technology and finance in early 2017. Tens of billions of dollars were raised for new crypto ventures -- eclipsing even VC investment in the blockchain sector for time. The first wave of ICOs has spawned security token offerings (or "STOs"), initial exchange offerings ("IEOs"), and (as of 2020), "DeFi" (for "decentralized finance") -- an entire ecosystem of blockchain financial markets intermediation (undoubtedly, all a work in progress).
Things have changed much since the first ICO boom "wild West" days: there have been high-profile slip-ups, most ill-conceived and prepared projects have fallen by the wayside, and regulators and lawmakers have turned their active attention to the sector. Happily, market standards are increasing, technical development has become more focused, and practices by participants have evolved and matured.
We believe it is undeniable that ICOs, STOs, DeFi, and burgeoning token markets in all forms present compelling opportunity and benefit in broad array of circumstances (including as a supporting tool of non-blockchain-focused ventures).
Nevertheless, the risks to venturers in the space remain high (particularly in DeFi and other areas of crypto that represent the intersection of many regulatory verticals and jurisdictions), and the daily legal and business changes seem almost impossible to keep track of. As a result, now virtually all players in the blockchain token-offering and trading sector acknowledge that savvy, adept legal counsel is indispensable to survive and thrive in the space.
We are that legal counsel, thanks to our technical and business experience, in concert with an on-point legal background. And we deliver our services in a uniquely economical, client-centric manner.
Token Markets Legal Advisory Areas
Providing competent and thorough legal advice in the token offering and post-offering financial markets sector is a daunting undertaking that most counselors cannot credibly achieve. It involves such disciplines and considerations as diverse as:
- securities law broadly (of the U.S. and myriad other global jurisdictions)
- The full suite of useful securities exemptions under U.S. law (including Regulation D, Regulation A+, Regulation CrowdFunding, and state-level exemptions)
- organized financial intermediaries and markets law (i.e., SEC/FINRA: broker-dealers, ATSes, and regulated exchanges; CFTC/NFA: FCMs and ECPs, DCMs, SEFs, and DCOs, and so on)
- state and federal money-transmitter law (MTL/MSB) and the New York "BitLicense"
- international and jurisdictional law
- know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) law
- a deep understanding of blockchain & DLT technology
- media law and internet law
- privacy and data security law (and technology)
- startup business law, including:
- entity selection advisory & formation
- corporate law and governance
- intellectual property law
- financing and venture capital
Don't "wing it" without counsel fluent in all of these areas -- or go without counsel at all! Akin to "release early and often" in the software world, getting early and frequent blockchain legal guidance (even when simply considering the possibility of a token offering or blockchain venture generally) is critical, and will save you in the long run.