February 07, 2019 (Richmond, VA)
by Daniel M. Payne

Murphy & McGonigle, the financial services and regulatory law firm, today released its Blockchain Litigation: 2018 Year in Review Report. Based on proprietary data the firm has collected from its Blockchain Litigation Database, the Report identifies six trends that have clearly emerged as blockchain and cryptocurrencies move closer to the mainstream.

“Because there has been considerable hype in this promising new sector, we are pleased to provide a report that is based on real data – not predictions or speculation,” said Daniel Payne, Shareholder in Murphy & McGonigle’s FinTech & Blockchain Practice. “The Blockchain Litigation Year in Review Report identifies how the market, regulators and investors are responding to the innovations taking place involving cryptocurrencies with actual proof points, and we hope this analysis is useful to our clients.”

Murphy & McGonigle’s Blockchain Litigation Database, launched in 2018, tracks cases in the United States involving cryptocurrencies; blockchain-based companies; mining companies; crypto-investment platforms; exchanges; and ISO insurers and consultants. The Blockchain Litigation Database empowers users to identify trends in blockchain litigation, such as claims, settlements and legal developments.

Six key findings stood out in the data for 2018 in the Blockchain Litigation Database. They are:

  1. As cryptocurrencies go mainstream, blockchain litigation takes off
  2. Regulators were active in 2018
  3. American courts are deciding how to handle the global blockchain industry
  4. Securities law violations have been the biggest driver of the spike in litigation in 2018
  5. Courts are starting to grapple with characterizing cryptocurrencies
  6. The SEC provided a “Path to Compliance”

“The combination of the seemingly limitless potential for cryptocurrencies with a marketplace that is not fully prepared to regulate or capitalize on their use makes for a ripe litigation environment,” said Mr. Payne. “We expect to 2019 will provide more of the same in terms of these trends, at least in the near term.” For a copy of the Blockchain Litigation: 2018 Year in Review Report, click here.

Murphy & McGonigle’s FinTech & Blockchain Practice advises broker-dealers, traders, exchanges, banks, private equity and venture investors, asset managers, private funds and other market participants on complex regulatory and legal matters related to the use of technology. The practice regularly works with a range of companies and individuals that have a stake in legal and regulatory developments impacting cryptocurrencies, digital tokens, and distributed ledger technology.

Murphy & McGonigle serves the litigation, enforcement defense, and regulatory counseling needs of clients across the full spectrum of the financial services industry – from national banks, broker-dealers, investment advisers, and hedge funds, to national and international securities markets and exchanges. Many of the firm’s partners formerly served in senior positions at the US Department of Justice, SEC, FINRA, CFTC and the New York State Department of Financial Services and several served in senior executive positions in major financial institutions on Wall Street. The firm operates in New York, Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia.