Digital Currency + Blockchain Technology

Since 2010, VC investments in blockchain and cryptocurrency companies have totaled $1.7 billion, and raising capital through token sales, commonly referred to as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), is on pace to surpass that number. The sudden arrival and rapid rise of bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies has generated a wave of innovation and disruptive businesses. With this explosive growth, new legal issues in these areas are cropping up every day.

Goodwin’s technical expertise, geographic footprint in key industry markets, and depth of experience allows us to offer unprecedented service to help our clients capitalize on opportunities and meet the challenges of this evolving industry. Our digital currency and blockchain technology practice is supported by well-established teams of nationally recognized lawyers with expertise across many areas affecting digital currencies including ICOs, corporate and securities laws, venture financing, regulatory, intellectual property, banking compliance, SEC and criminal defense, private equity, securities litigation, real estate, corporate M+A,  investment funds, and privacy and cybersecurity.

Recent Experience

  • Advising companies in the U.S. and abroad on ICOs– including those in the AI, renewable energy, gaming, media, entertainment, cyber-security, microloan, and real estate industries
  • Advising venture funds regarding ICOs and ICO investments
  • Representing Coinbase, a major digital asset exchange company, in IRS v. Coinbase, an IRS action seeking customer information for hundreds of thousands of Coinbase users
  • Advising clients on bitcoin ATMs
  • Advising digital currency exchanges on state and FinCEN registrations
  • Advised a bitcoin consumer finance company with a Series Seed financing
  • Advised a venture capital firm in a Series A investment in a bitcoin wallet company
  • Represented a venture capital firm with a seed investment in an international money transfer company that uses bitcoin and mobile wallets for receiving remittances from abroad
  • Advised a bitcoin platform on licensing its technology and other intellectual property to another bitcoin market participant
  • Represented a bitcoin platform that allows debit card use for bitcoin withdrawals and provides a secure vault of institutional investors to store bitcoin in a $20 million financing
  • Advised a leading bitcoin payment service provider on issues related to currency processing
  • Represented a bitcoin forex trading platform in connection with regulatory compliance and general corporate matters
  • Represented a digital currency company in the first ever digital currency enforcement action by FinCEN, and a related DOJ settlement
  • Represented Sand Hill Exchange  in responding to an SEC enforcement action relating to derivative contracts and bitcoin
Related Practices

Consumer Financial Services Litigation

Consumer financial services companies face a broad spectrum of issues unique to the industry, and you need counsel that understands the challenges the industry faces. With one of the most preeminent consumer financial services litigation practice groups in the nation, our lawyers know your industry. With experience in regulatory counseling and examinations, government investigations, enforcement proceedings, and litigation, we defend many of the nation’s largest financial institutions, including prominent banks, mortgage companies, credit card issuers, and insurers, in high-stakes consumer financial services litigation cases.
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Financial Industry Litigation

The financial industry faces unique challenges, some of which can lead to crippling regulatory scrutiny and massive litigation. Goodwin understands those challenges, and we use our deeply rooted knowledge and diverse perspectives of the broad financial services industry to defend our clients in litigation, class actions, enforcement actions and government investigations. As part of Goodwin’s broader Financial Industry team, our lawyers are laser-focused on the distinct issues impacting clients in this industry, and we use a holistic, cross-disciplinary approach to help our clients mitigate risk and defend their interests.
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Advisory Services

The financial industry is operating in a complex and challenging regulatory environment with the cost of compliance rising, greater implications of big data and technology, heightened cybersecurity measures, and globalization requiring more comprehensive oversight. It is important now more than ever for law firms to possess sophisticated regulatory capabilities and in-depth understanding of the financial markets. Goodwin has its finger on the pulse of regulatory and compliance developments and is uniquely positioned to address the cutting-edge issues that can maximize business opportunities as well as better manage and mitigate risk.

Services that make up our Financial Industry Advisory services include both U.S. and non-U.S. counseling on matters relating to bank and consumer finance regulations, broker-dealer regulation, corporate governance, derivatives, ERISA, executive compensation and employment, False Claims Act, FCPA, finance, government and internal investigations, intellectual property, Investment Advisers Act, Investment Company Act, privacy and cybersecurity, private investment funds regulation, public securities, restructuring, succession planning and liquidity strategies, tax, trade regulation, trusts and estates and enforcement actions.

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Government Investigations + Enforcement

For many companies, government investigations and enforcement actions are an unfortunate reality in today’s world. How you respond to and manage these matters can help to mitigate disruption and keep your business on track, and you need a partner who is intimately familiar with navigating these murky waters. Goodwin has extensive experience responding to government investigations, defending enforcement actions, and managing administrative, criminal, and private proceedings. We represent our companies, directors and audit committees in investigations relating to securities fraud, the FCPA, the False Claims Act, healthcare fraud, whistleblower allegations and alleged violations of financial lending regulations. And in the event an enforcement action proceeds, we advocate for our clients before the government on a daily basis, responding to investigation requests, negotiating the resolution of enforcement actions and advocating for our clients before a wide range of federal and state agencies, including the SEC, DOJ, CFPB, and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and state attorneys general.
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Intellectual Property

Intellectual property assets represent significant value for businesses in the United States. For some clients, these assets represent an entire career or a body of research; for others, they're a 100-year-old trademark, or a newly acquired license. Whether it’s structuring transactions or resolving high-stakes property disputes, we understand the unique needs of each client, and anticipate how those needs will change over time. With superior experience– from scientists who’ve worked in the field, to litigators with International Trade Commission and federal court experience – we’re privileged to represent national and international companies in a broad cross-section of industries.
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Litigation + Dispute Resolution

Whether your litigation involves winning a case – or helping your company survive – you need the skills and experience of a sophisticated litigation practice. Goodwin Procter’s litigators provide you with results-oriented representation, drawing on talents of more than 350 trial lawyers, engaged in high-profile cases across the country.
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New Company Formation

Protect your company’s potential by starting off on the right foot. Goodwin’s full-service team advises on company formation and growth matters including incorporation, founders agreements, venture financing, intellectual property, licensing, employee contracts, benefits and beyond. We represent over 1,200 emerging companies and 200 venture capital and private equity firms. This extensive company and investor client base allows us to leverage relationships and deep market knowledge on behalf of our clients.
Read More
Related Practices
Consumer Financial Services Litigation
Consumer financial services companies face a broad spectrum of issues unique to the industry, and you need counsel that understands the challenges the industry faces. With one of the most preeminent consumer financial services litigation practice groups in the nation, our lawyers know your industry. With experience in regulatory counseling and examinations, government investigations, enforcement proceedings, and litigation, we defend many of the nation’s largest financial institutions, including prominent banks, mortgage companies, credit card issuers, and insurers, in high-stakes consumer financial services litigation cases.
Read More
Financial Industry Litigation
The financial industry faces unique challenges, some of which can lead to crippling regulatory scrutiny and massive litigation. Goodwin understands those challenges, and we use our deeply rooted knowledge and diverse perspectives of the broad financial services industry to defend our clients in litigation, class actions, enforcement actions and government investigations. As part of Goodwin’s broader Financial Industry team, our lawyers are laser-focused on the distinct issues impacting clients in this industry, and we use a holistic, cross-disciplinary approach to help our clients mitigate risk and defend their interests.
Read More
Advisory Services

The financial industry is operating in a complex and challenging regulatory environment with the cost of compliance rising, greater implications of big data and technology, heightened cybersecurity measures, and globalization requiring more comprehensive oversight. It is important now more than ever for law firms to possess sophisticated regulatory capabilities and in-depth understanding of the financial markets. Goodwin has its finger on the pulse of regulatory and compliance developments and is uniquely positioned to address the cutting-edge issues that can maximize business opportunities as well as better manage and mitigate risk.

Services that make up our Financial Industry Advisory services include both U.S. and non-U.S. counseling on matters relating to bank and consumer finance regulations, broker-dealer regulation, corporate governance, derivatives, ERISA, executive compensation and employment, False Claims Act, FCPA, finance, government and internal investigations, intellectual property, Investment Advisers Act, Investment Company Act, privacy and cybersecurity, private investment funds regulation, public securities, restructuring, succession planning and liquidity strategies, tax, trade regulation, trusts and estates and enforcement actions.

Read More
Government Investigations + Enforcement
For many companies, government investigations and enforcement actions are an unfortunate reality in today’s world. How you respond to and manage these matters can help to mitigate disruption and keep your business on track, and you need a partner who is intimately familiar with navigating these murky waters. Goodwin has extensive experience responding to government investigations, defending enforcement actions, and managing administrative, criminal, and private proceedings. We represent our companies, directors and audit committees in investigations relating to securities fraud, the FCPA, the False Claims Act, healthcare fraud, whistleblower allegations and alleged violations of financial lending regulations. And in the event an enforcement action proceeds, we advocate for our clients before the government on a daily basis, responding to investigation requests, negotiating the resolution of enforcement actions and advocating for our clients before a wide range of federal and state agencies, including the SEC, DOJ, CFPB, and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and state attorneys general.
Read More
Intellectual Property
Intellectual property assets represent significant value for businesses in the United States. For some clients, these assets represent an entire career or a body of research; for others, they're a 100-year-old trademark, or a newly acquired license. Whether it’s structuring transactions or resolving high-stakes property disputes, we understand the unique needs of each client, and anticipate how those needs will change over time. With superior experience– from scientists who’ve worked in the field, to litigators with International Trade Commission and federal court experience – we’re privileged to represent national and international companies in a broad cross-section of industries.
Read More
Litigation + Dispute Resolution
Whether your litigation involves winning a case – or helping your company survive – you need the skills and experience of a sophisticated litigation practice. Goodwin Procter’s litigators provide you with results-oriented representation, drawing on talents of more than 350 trial lawyers, engaged in high-profile cases across the country.
Read More
New Company Formation
Protect your company’s potential by starting off on the right foot. Goodwin’s full-service team advises on company formation and growth matters including incorporation, founders agreements, venture financing, intellectual property, licensing, employee contracts, benefits and beyond. We represent over 1,200 emerging companies and 200 venture capital and private equity firms. This extensive company and investor client base allows us to leverage relationships and deep market knowledge on behalf of our clients.
Read More

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