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Developing, Advancing and Protecting
As the blockchain ecosystem evolves, the application of blockchain solutions will present a range of questions with legal repercussions. Your company deserves a team that is committed to partnering with those at the leading edge of blockchain-enabled innovation and possess the experience and the adaptability to navigate the ever-changing landscape, even having established various precedents within the space.

How We Can Help You

At Buchanan, our dedicated professionals in the Blockchain and Digital Assets Practice Group are prepared to assist clients with a variety of opportunities and challenges associated with navigating the various decentralized technology and virtual currencies. We provide innovative strategies that support maximizing returns while mitigating the challenges of this dynamic industry. Driven by the needs of our clients, Buchanan has assembled a team of attorneys and government relations professionals that can leverage experience from throughout our full-service firm. We are focused on helping clients seize opportunities, reduce risk, and protect their past, current, and future efforts and assets in an ever-changing industry. 

The rapidly evolving regulations challenge every company to keep compliance practices up to date. Remaining ahead of the curve and informed of any new activities that touch on blockchain and digital currency, is one of the important focuses of our Blockchain and Digital Assets team.

Formation and Development

Our professionals strive to assist your company to market while also protecting you from the risks of business that may include among others: contract review and negotiation, regulatory oversight at various agencies, employment, financing, intellectual property, securities law regulation, tax and issues pertaining to cybersecurity threats.

Intellectual Property

Buchanan’s professionals in the Intellectual Property practice group are at the frontier of assessing and understanding the challenges that arise with the use of blockchain technology, including the following types of matters:

  • Preparation of a clean room agreement between health care providers each having electronic access to transacted confidential information records in a peer-to-peer network reviewed by a third-party health care consultant.
  • Preparation and prosecution of U.S. patent applications directed to using blockchain in voting systems, payment systems, and smart contracts, among others.
  • Management of worldwide IP portfolio directed to blockchain technology for leading U.S. financial services company.


Our experienced Buchanan tax lawyers can assist clients to decipher the complex myriad of federal and state tax rules as they apply to an underlying transaction; for example, understanding the treatment of capital gains or losses, as well as a host of tax issues relating to your digital wallets, among other matters. While the IRS has provided basic guidelines as to how taxpayers should treat digital currencies for U.S. federal tax purposes, much is still open for interpretation, including matters pertaining to domestic and international information reporting. Buchanan’s tax professionals are well-poised to provide advice during times of volatility and nascent technology developments.

Examples include:

  • Assistance before the IRS in case of audits, tax litigation, and regulatory compliance.
  • Assistance with classification and treatment of digital currencies to determine federal and state tax consequences to report capital gains from the sale or transfer of digital currencies (including use of virtual currency for goods and services).
  • Assistance with information reporting, domestic and international.
  • Treatment of NFTs and DeFI for U.S. tax laws.

Compliance and Finance

The Compliance and Finance groups provide advice regarding regulatory matters that touch on blockchain and digital currencies.

Examples include:

  • Designed, implemented, and monitored compliance programs for international companies and organizations related to sanctions implemented and enforced by the Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
  • Conducted numerous internal investigations related to potential violations of international sanctions and compliance regimes, including the FCPA, the U.K. Bribery Act, and Bank Secrecy Act.
  • Developed policies and procedures for financial institutions related to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) statutes and regulations.
  • Represented multinational companies and organizations before various federal and state agencies and regulators, including the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, OFAC, and the Federal Trade Commission.

US Securities Law

The regulation of the use of blockchain in the financial services sector varies based on the financial service provided using blockchain. For example, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has authority over exchanges on which digital assets that are considered securities are traded, while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has authority over exchanges on which derivative contracts for digital assets are traded. In some cases, a service may be subject to regulation by both the SEC and the CFTC.

Examples include:

  • Developed a technical briefing for SEC Fin Hub team and other SEC staff on how blockchain and ICOs work, their pitfalls, regulations, cyber, and other areas of concern.
  • Analyzed a token's compliance as it pertained to U.S. securities laws.
  • Assisted with corporate governance and security filings for a cryptocurrency company.

Corporate Governance

  • New initiatives regarding blockchain and digital currency, while challenging, provide unique opportunities to companies of every size. However, understanding and reducing risk is the most important first step any entity can take, along with having an experienced team at the ready should regulatory investigations or enforcement actions occur.
  • Blockchain’s disruption of previously established business models’ challenges companies to navigate risks while taking full advantage of new opportunities. While virtual currencies and blockchain technology in the financial services industry have been the subjects of significant debate and attention, blockchain is revolutionizing a wide range of industries.
  • At Buchanan, we support clients with a customized team carefully selected for their experience in those areas of regulatory law most relevant to the client’s business and industry. Our team will assist in the designing and implementing of comprehensive compliance programs to prevent, detect, and rectify corporate misconduct.

Government Relations

We also work closely with regulators through our highly rated Government Relations practice to gain key insight as to what is taking place on Capitol Hill. Because of our experience and relationships, we can assist our clients in anticipating novel issues when they arise.

  • As cyberattacks threaten companies of the private, public and non-profit sectors, Congressional members as well as members of President Biden’s Administration are working to expand the role of the federal government to enact regulation, set compliance policies, and enforce penalties relating to advancements pertaining to blockchain technology and digital currencies.
  • As the landscape rapidly changes, it is vital that organizations can have their voice heard, track policy changes, and understand the rising and developing impact on their business of these changes. Our Federal Government Relations Group provides clients these insights through our years of collaborating with lawmakers on Capitol Hill including a standing role on the Cyber Leadership Council of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
  • Additionally, Buchanan attorneys have a deep understanding of helping companies who are losing market share and decreased profits due to unfairly priced imports. Through experience related to foreign policy and national security matters such as U.S. economic sanctions, our Sanctions professionals provide comprehensive guidance and corporate compliance programs to clients that provide services that may be regulated due to national security reasons.

White Collar, Criminal Defense & Government Enforcement 

Our White-Collar team is made up of former state and federal prosecutors as well as former law enforcement professionals. We have experience in handling congressional legislative actions and regulatory rulemaking at the relevant agencies, including the SEC, the CFTC, the IRS, and the Department of Treasury as well as initiatives by the Department of Justice to ensure that consumers are protected from harm. 

We guide both entities and individuals through the complexities of federal and state criminal investigations and prosecutions. Some of the cases we routinely manage for our clients involve the following: 

  • Antitrust
  • Embezzlement & Theft
  • Financial/Securities Industry Regulatory and Enforcement Actions
    • Fraud: Bankruptcy, Healthcare, Honest Services, Insurance, Mail, Securities, Wire
  • Government Procurement or Contracting Violations
  • Money Laundering & Bank Secrecy Act Violations
  • Tax Violations – State and Federal

With the expectation that there may be more companies under legal scrutiny, we have experience in handling large scale fraud cases, including direct experience working with the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme. As such, we know what to expect to come next and how to handle the ever-changing landscape. 

Litigation, Labor and Employment

Buchanan’s Litigation, Labor and Employment lawyers are tasked with understanding the rights and responsibilities of parties with respect to their transactions involving digital assets, including the following types of matters:

  • Advice on whether investments are securities based on the Howey test of whether there was an investment of money, an expectation of profits and the investment of money is in a common enterprise and the profits come from the efforts of a promotor or a third party.
  • Litigation regarding scope of work or contract disputes regarding a network’s intended functionality.
  • Litigation relating to lost business opportunities or reputational harm.
  • Statutory and regulatory compliance litigation.
  • Disputes between founders of companies and intellectual property rights disputes between founders.
  • Cyber fraud litigation based on hacking and cyber post-event crisis management.
  • Litigation involving rogue individuals looking to steal confidential information for gain or start competing companies based on information obtained illegally.
  • Partnership disputes relating to ownership and books and records rights.
  • Private arbitration and mediation proceedings.
  • Counsel international companies on employment issues triggered by cross-border transactions such as spinoffs, carve-outs, private equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and IPOs involving digital assets.
  • Draft employment, severance, separation, non-compete, non-disclosure, and settlement agreements in contract agreements involving digital currencies and tokens.

Bankruptcy and Restructuring

Buchanan is a recognized leader in the areas of bankruptcy, insolvency and creditors’ rights making it a natural fit for the fast-paced and ever-changing world of digital assets. Built to be a disruptor of centralized information and assets, the decentralized technology and digital assets industry is experiencing, and expected to continue experiencing, disruptions that could cause the need for creditors and companies to consider:  

  • Reorganizations including chapter 11
  • Debt restructuring 
    • Protection and counseling of creditor’s rights including how reorganization proceedings will impact a creditor/lender
  • Federal and state receiverships
  • Investor and/or seller representation to acquire or sell troubled companies, assets, or distressed debts.

Strategic Consultation and Connections

  • Buchanan prides itself on supporting the goals of our clients in multiple ways. As an advisor to our clients, providing access to strategic relationships is a value-add used to help clients navigate the complex business and political environment through strategic advice and consultation.

Learn how we have advanced our clients’ goals through practical experience.

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