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Anthony Tu-Sekine

Anthony Tu-Sekine |
Partner

As the head of Seward & Kissel’s Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Group and a frequent commentator on all things crypto, Anthony advises clients on a wide range of evolving topics, including how to structure and issue security and utility tokens, registered and unregistered offerings of security tokens, token custody, transfer and liquidity issues, non-security opinions, and investments in crypto assets by funds and other investors. A recognized leader on physical precious metals funds, Anthony represented APMEX Inc. and alternative asset manager Sprott Inc. in connection with the launch of OneGold.com, which allows investors to own gold documented on blockchain. He also:

  • Represents ShelterZoom, a leading blockchain-based SaaS contract management platform;
  • Helped form a tokenized hedge fund;
  • Provides advice in connection with ransomware payments made in cryptocurrencies; and
  • Worked with sponsors of bitcoin ETF and OTC products.
“You can work with regulators or you can really try to piss them off… If you really want to do the latter, then you should expect that they will bring every tool they have against you.”
- Anthony’s thoughts on BitMEX indictment, as published in Law360 article “BitMEX Case Seen as Blessing in Disguise for Crypto Sector"

Partner

As the head of Seward & Kissel’s Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Group and a frequent commentator on all things crypto, Anthony advises clients on a wide range of evolving topics, including how to structure and issue security and utility tokens, registered and unregistered offerings of security tokens, token custody, transfer and liquidity issues, non-security opinions, and investments in crypto assets by funds and other investors. A recognized leader on physical precious metals funds, Anthony represented APMEX Inc. and alternative asset manager Sprott Inc. in connection with the launch of OneGold.com, which allows investors to own gold documented on blockchain. He also:

  • Represents ShelterZoom, a leading blockchain-based SaaS contract management platform;
  • Helped form a tokenized hedge fund;
  • Provides advice in connection with ransomware payments made in cryptocurrencies; and
  • Worked with sponsors of bitcoin ETF and OTC products.
“You can work with regulators or you can really try to piss them off… If you really want to do the latter, then you should expect that they will bring every tool they have against you.”
- Anthony’s thoughts on BitMEX indictment, as published in Law360 article “BitMEX Case Seen as Blessing in Disguise for Crypto Sector"
Meir Grossman

Meir Grossman |
Partner

A crypto enthusiast, Meir Grossman has been actively following the decentralized finance space since its early days. As a partner in Seward & Kissel’s Business Transactions Group, Meir works with sponsors and managers of private investment funds on a wide variety of formation, structuring, and transactional matters, including structuring and negotiating seed and other forms of strategic investments. He also:

  • Assists fund managers in creating crypto funds;
  • Advises investors who are investing in crypto-backed venture capital funds and projects; and
  • Works with venture capital investors interested in blockchain and crypto-focused initiatives and companies.

Partner

A crypto enthusiast, Meir Grossman has been actively following the decentralized finance space since its early days. As a partner in Seward & Kissel’s Business Transactions Group, Meir works with sponsors and managers of private investment funds on a wide variety of formation, structuring, and transactional matters, including structuring and negotiating seed and other forms of strategic investments. He also:

  • Assists fund managers in creating crypto funds;
  • Advises investors who are investing in crypto-backed venture capital funds and projects; and
  • Works with venture capital investors interested in blockchain and crypto-focused initiatives and companies.
Philip Moustakis

Philip Moustakis |
Counsel

A former senior counsel in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Philip advises companies and individuals at Seward & Kissel on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, SEC enforcement matters, other regulatory investigations, and internal investigations. As a founding member of the SEC’s Cyber Unit, Philip advised the Commission on cryptocurrencies and investigated matters involving initial coin offerings (ICOs), unlawful touting of ICOs, and other violations of the federal securities laws related to cryptocurrencies. Publicly filed enforcement matters Philip spearheaded included the SEC’s first ever Bitcoin-related enforcement action against the operator of Bitcoin Savings & Trust, a Bitcoin-denominated Ponzi scheme, settled proceedings against an operator of a Bitcoin-related social media marketing venture and a popular Bitcoin betting site for the offer and sale of unregistered securities, and settled proceedings against an operator of unregistered cryptocurrency-denominated securities exchanges and broker-dealers.

“The SEC is a principles based regulator, and it will assert its jurisdiction over any securities offering or transaction, as it has done since the onset of the ICO craze, regardless of the technology used to facilitate such an offering.”
- Philip’s thoughts on the recent SEC enforcement action against Kik Interactive, Inc. as published in the Crowdfund Insider article “Former SEC Senior Counsel Comments on Kik Ruling: Kik Could Have Benefited From Traditional Capital Markets Lawyer "

Counsel

A former senior counsel in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Philip advises companies and individuals at Seward & Kissel on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, SEC enforcement matters, other regulatory investigations, and internal investigations. As a founding member of the SEC’s Cyber Unit, Philip advised the Commission on cryptocurrencies and investigated matters involving initial coin offerings (ICOs), unlawful touting of ICOs, and other violations of the federal securities laws related to cryptocurrencies. Publicly filed enforcement matters Philip spearheaded included the SEC’s first ever Bitcoin-related enforcement action against the operator of Bitcoin Savings & Trust, a Bitcoin-denominated Ponzi scheme, settled proceedings against an operator of a Bitcoin-related social media marketing venture and a popular Bitcoin betting site for the offer and sale of unregistered securities, and settled proceedings against an operator of unregistered cryptocurrency-denominated securities exchanges and broker-dealers.

“The SEC is a principles based regulator, and it will assert its jurisdiction over any securities offering or transaction, as it has done since the onset of the ICO craze, regardless of the technology used to facilitate such an offering.”
- Philip’s thoughts on the recent SEC enforcement action against Kik Interactive, Inc. as published in the Crowdfund Insider article “Former SEC Senior Counsel Comments on Kik Ruling: Kik Could Have Benefited From Traditional Capital Markets Lawyer "
SEWARD & KISSEL LLP

SEWARD & KISSEL LLP |
Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Group

Seward & Kissel LLP has been counseling participants in the financial services industry since 1890. Today, our Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Group assists clients with investments in cryptocurrencies and other assets based on distributed ledger technology. Drawing on knowledge from across the firm’s practice areas, we have advised clients on a variety of groundbreaking matters, from structuring security and utility token offerings, advising crypto exchanges, forming crypto custodians, and advising on a range of questions relating to crypto investments and the buying, selling, and trading of crypto assets.

Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Group

Seward & Kissel LLP has been counseling participants in the financial services industry since 1890. Today, our Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Group assists clients with investments in cryptocurrencies and other assets based on distributed ledger technology. Drawing on knowledge from across the firm’s practice areas, we have advised clients on a variety of groundbreaking matters, from structuring security and utility token offerings, advising crypto exchanges, forming crypto custodians, and advising on a range of questions relating to crypto investments and the buying, selling, and trading of crypto assets.

Brett Cotler

Brett Cotler |
Associate

Brett Cotler is an associate in Seward & Kissel’s Taxation Group and Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Group. Brett structures and advises clients on investments in digital assets, offerings of digital assets, and crypto-businesses. Brett specializes in U.S. federal and state tax and regulatory matters. He also:

  • Tokenized various assets;
  • Solves complex tax issues for companies, their principals, and their investors;
  • Structured an upstart token exchange; and
  • Advises on New York State Virtual Currency License applications
“Under current U.S. law, any time a person uses cryptocurrencies for payments, it’s a taxable event, and a lot of casual PayPal users could end up being completely surprised by tax liabilities that could result from buying and selling bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies via PayPal.”
- Brett’s thoughts on PayPal’s new crypto services, as published in PaymentsSource article “Why PayPal’s crypto plan may not be fully mainstream"

Associate

Brett Cotler is an associate in Seward & Kissel’s Taxation Group and Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Group. Brett structures and advises clients on investments in digital assets, offerings of digital assets, and crypto-businesses. Brett specializes in U.S. federal and state tax and regulatory matters. He also:

  • Tokenized various assets;
  • Solves complex tax issues for companies, their principals, and their investors;
  • Structured an upstart token exchange; and
  • Advises on New York State Virtual Currency License applications
“Under current U.S. law, any time a person uses cryptocurrencies for payments, it’s a taxable event, and a lot of casual PayPal users could end up being completely surprised by tax liabilities that could result from buying and selling bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies via PayPal.”
- Brett’s thoughts on PayPal’s new crypto services, as published in PaymentsSource article “Why PayPal’s crypto plan may not be fully mainstream"
Casey Jennings

Casey Jennings |
Associate

A member of Seward & Kissel’s Financial Services Regulatory Group and Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Group, Casey advises financial services companies – including banks, broker-dealers, investment funds, service providers, and financial technology companies – on federal and state banking and securities law issues and the structuring of new financial products, including anti-money laundering, deposit issues, token offerings, custody of traditional and crypto assets, transfer and liquidity issues, Volcker Rule issues, and investments in crypto assets by funds and other investors. Before joining the firm, Casey served as counsel to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he developed and implemented financial regulatory policy, including the first CFPB rulemaking to rely on unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices (UDAAPs) authority. Since then, he has:

  • Represented e-retailer APMEX Inc. and alternative asset manager Sprott Inc. in connection with the launch of the online marketplace, OneGold.com.
“The whole notion of crypto is that there are no gatekeepers and the BSA requires that there be gatekeepers. Those two notions are very much at odds with one another. But the BSA is the best system that we’ve got right now.”
- Casey’s perspective on crypto AML regulations as published in Cointelegraph article “How U.S. authorities are using old AML tools to crack down on crypto "

Associate

A member of Seward & Kissel’s Financial Services Regulatory Group and Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Group, Casey advises financial services companies – including banks, broker-dealers, investment funds, service providers, and financial technology companies – on federal and state banking and securities law issues and the structuring of new financial products, including anti-money laundering, deposit issues, token offerings, custody of traditional and crypto assets, transfer and liquidity issues, Volcker Rule issues, and investments in crypto assets by funds and other investors. Before joining the firm, Casey served as counsel to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he developed and implemented financial regulatory policy, including the first CFPB rulemaking to rely on unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices (UDAAPs) authority. Since then, he has:

  • Represented e-retailer APMEX Inc. and alternative asset manager Sprott Inc. in connection with the launch of the online marketplace, OneGold.com.
“The whole notion of crypto is that there are no gatekeepers and the BSA requires that there be gatekeepers. Those two notions are very much at odds with one another. But the BSA is the best system that we’ve got right now.”
- Casey’s perspective on crypto AML regulations as published in Cointelegraph article “How U.S. authorities are using old AML tools to crack down on crypto "
Andrew Jacobson

Andrew Jacobson |
Associate

A former enforcement attorney at the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), Andrew Jacobson represents individual and institutional clients at Seward & Kissel in connection with complex governmental investigations, regulatory probes, and related civil matters. While at the DFS, Andrew was involved in early cryptocurrency issues and brought some of the most significant enforcement actions for violations of U.S. economic sanctions and anti-money laundering laws.

Andrew has extensive experience advising on matters relating to U.S. economic sanctions, including those administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and anti-money laundering laws. Andrew serves as Chair of the Export Controls, Sanctions, and Anti-Corruption Subcommittee of the International Bar Association, co-chair of the Virtual Commodity Association’s BSA/AML Committee, and is a member of the Digital Chamber of Commerce’s AML Task Force.

As a member of Seward & Kissel’s Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Group, Andrew regularly advises clients on all aspects of financial crimes compliance and licensing in the virtual asset industry, including:

  • OFAC and FinCEN regulatory requirements, including asset blocking and reporting obligations;
  • Unhosted wallets and risks to software providers and VASPs;
  • Privacy coins, mixers, and other external privacy mechanisms;
  • Technology and open-source user platforms;
  • Ransomware and other cyberattack-related ransom payments;
  • BitLicense and state licensing requirements; and
  • Counterparty due diligence and screening.
“This is certainly a lesson to senior management to take compliance seriously and that there are consequences for individuals who don’t follow the regulatory regime.”
- Andrew’s thoughts on BitMEX indictment, as published in Law360 article “BitMEX Case Seen as Blessing in Disguise for Crypto Sector "

Associate

A former enforcement attorney at the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), Andrew Jacobson represents individual and institutional clients at Seward & Kissel in connection with complex governmental investigations, regulatory probes, and related civil matters. While at the DFS, Andrew was involved in early cryptocurrency issues and brought some of the most significant enforcement actions for violations of U.S. economic sanctions and anti-money laundering laws.

Andrew has extensive experience advising on matters relating to U.S. economic sanctions, including those administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and anti-money laundering laws. Andrew serves as Chair of the Export Controls, Sanctions, and Anti-Corruption Subcommittee of the International Bar Association, co-chair of the Virtual Commodity Association’s BSA/AML Committee, and is a member of the Digital Chamber of Commerce’s AML Task Force.

As a member of Seward & Kissel’s Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Group, Andrew regularly advises clients on all aspects of financial crimes compliance and licensing in the virtual asset industry, including:

  • OFAC and FinCEN regulatory requirements, including asset blocking and reporting obligations;
  • Unhosted wallets and risks to software providers and VASPs;
  • Privacy coins, mixers, and other external privacy mechanisms;
  • Technology and open-source user platforms;
  • Ransomware and other cyberattack-related ransom payments;
  • BitLicense and state licensing requirements; and
  • Counterparty due diligence and screening.
“This is certainly a lesson to senior management to take compliance seriously and that there are consequences for individuals who don’t follow the regulatory regime.”
- Andrew’s thoughts on BitMEX indictment, as published in Law360 article “BitMEX Case Seen as Blessing in Disguise for Crypto Sector "

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