Blockchain Technology & Digital Assets

Blockchain, digital assets, cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technologies are revolutionizing the way the marketplace conducts business. Nixon Peabody is at the forefront of these developments.

Our Approach

These innovative technologies cross many well-established industries that we have served for decades. Our team leverages its global strengths in practice areas such as securities, private fund formation, cross-border transactions, energy, real estate, health care and privacy, intellectual property and others to help our clients create, integrate and understand these technologies to advance their business goals and remain relevant competitors in the future.

We help clients at the vanguard navigate the rapidly evolving use of blockchain technology in all areas of business. Decentralized application protocols, blockchain companies, non-traditional corporate entities, non-profit organizations, digital asset miners and transaction validators seek our advice and counsel on an array of business matters, including:

  • Corporate governance and securities issuance
  • Labor and employment matters
  • Corporate tax advice
  • Multigenerational estate planning and wealth management
  • Cost-effective energy solutions for miners
  • Government relations and public policy matters

We counsel teams creating cryptocurrency and other digital asset investment vehicles, token-economy systems for information reporting and token sales. Our team can address trademark and other intellectual property protection issues with respect to digital assets, and advise on investment and venture capital, lending and tax implications. We assist clients in making initial coin offerings that are compliant with U.S. federal and state securities laws.  We guide clients through the compliance, regulatory, transactional, corporate governance and policy nuances of blockchain technology.

We can help with:

  • ICOs (initial coin offerings) of securities tokens
  • Formation of closed-end cryptocurrency hedge funds and private equity-style vehicles
  • Commercial lending
  • Patents and other intellectual property protection of blockchain technologies
  • Acquisitions and dispositions of blockchain-related companies
  • Companies that are developing blockchain infrastructure
  • Agreements for institutions looking to leverage blockchain technology
  • Oversight of the applications being used by your clients, vendors and customers

Who we work with

  • Technology companies, cooperatives and foundations
  • Startups and distributed teams
  • Investors (family offices, funds-of-funds, institutional and pension plan investors, syndicated groups, foreign nationals and individuals)
  • Seasoned fund managers, emerging managers and independent sponsors
  • Consultants
  • Law firms

SEC provides further guidance on when digital assets may be deemed securities

Rochester Business Journal | July 19, 2018

Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk contributed this article detailing the SEC’s “important but nonbinding guidance on when a digital asset may be deemed a security.” The article draws from an alert written by New York City Corporate partner Dan McAvoy and Rochester Corporate associate Brian Becker.

Cryptocurrency class action lawsuit alleges security violations

Rochester Business Journal | May 10, 2018

Rochester private equity and investment funds partner Jeremy Wolk and Chicago commercial litigation associate Megha Shah authored this column about a recent class action lawsuit brought against cryptocurrency company NANO and its team, and the future implications the decision may have for Blockchain companies.

4 Things Real Estate Lawyers Need to Know About Bitcoin

Law360 | February 13, 2018

Los Angeles Office Managing Partner Justin Thompson and real estate associate Garth Bostic are quoted in this article about the factors real estate lawyers need to consider as bitcoin becomes a more popular method of payment in property transactions.

How Law Firms and Law Schools are Capitalizing on Cryptocurrency And Blockchain

San Francisco Business Times | January 31, 2018

This article mentions Nixon Peabody’s new Blockchain Technology and Smart Contacts team, which includes Rochester labor and employment practice group leader Eric Paley, San Francisco counsel Dan Valles and nearly 60 additional attorneys across offices and practice groups.

Initial Coin Offerings Getting Increased Scrutiny by SEC

Rochester Business Journal | January 11, 2018

Rochester private equity and investment funds partner Jeremy Wolk and Rochester public company transactions associate Brian Becker wrote this column examining SEC issues surrounding ICOs (initial coin offerings).

Hospital execs remain wary of bitcoin as the currency goes mainstream

Modern Healthcare | December 15, 2017

Rochester public company transactions associate Brian Becker is quoted in this article about how the cryptocurrency bitcoin is becoming mainstream and how it may affect the health care industry.

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