Nothing is certain but death and taxes. As far as taxes go, there are strong privacy laws protecting individual tax data from the prying eyes of outside parties. After death, individual privacy protections become less certain, especially in the area of digital assets. Probate laws designed in the 18th Century did not foresee the rise ... [Read more]

Virtual currency investing is like life in wild west, but the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) keeps an eye on the showdown, requiring some issuers of securities to register by filing forms. The case of SEC v. Shavers provides an example of virtual currency acting as a security, for which the seller must be registered ... [Read more]

Investment adviser Raymond Lucia was fined $300,000 by a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) administrative law judge (ALJ) for violating the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.  Lucia appealed, arguing that the ALJ was not constitutionally appointed, voiding his and the SEC’s decision.  After losing on appeal, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding that ALJs ... [Read more]

A German company used virtual currency to fund a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), which then exchanged its own tokens to provide ownership and control of the DAO.  In a 2017 report of investigation, the SEC concluded that the Slock.it DAO tokens were securities irrespective of their form and that the platform on which they were ... [Read more]

Several federal and state agencies have taken the initiative to regulate cryptocurrencies because Congress has not created (and the courts have not interpreted) a system for doing so. Until Congress does so, prudent investors must plan to file with and survive scrutiny from a number of federal agencies, private exchanges themselves, and possibly also the ... [Read more]