A week of “firsts” in cryptocurrency prosecution

On September 11, 2018, a number of “firsts” occurred in the prosecution of cryptocurrency-related activities at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and federal district court that will likely become the norm going forward.

  • The SEC announced its first enforcement action for an investment company registration violation involving a fund’s investments in cryptocurrency, continuing its multi-faceted regulation of cryptocurrencies and broadening its reach.
  • FINRA made its first foray into the world of cryptocurrency regulation, filing an enforcement complaint against a registered representative for securities law violations regarding cryptocurrency.
  • A federal district court denied a motion to dismiss a criminal indictment relating to fraudulent cryptocurrency-related conduct, which will likely result in a jury trial and potentially paving the way for similar future criminal indictments.

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