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New York Leads the Pack in Incidence of Blockchain Litigation

New Murphy & McGonigle Blockchain Litigation Year in Review Report Identifies Five Key Trends

NEW YORK, Jan. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to litigation in the highly promising yet still evolving space of blockchain, it looks like it's up to you, New York, New York.

The Empire State featured the most active region for blockchain litigation – the Southern District of New York – according to the new Blockchain Litigation Year in Review Report, released today by financial services law firm Murphy & McGonigle.

With the emerging, high-potential sector still facing an undefined regulatory landscape, participants have ranged from established financial services brands to investors to rogue actors. The second annual Blockchain Litigation Year in Review Report quantifies the incidence of litigation in the blockchain sector in 2019 for the U.S. marketplace. This includes cases involving cryptocurrencies, blockchain-based companies, mining companies, crypto-investment platforms, exchanges and ICO issuers and consultants.

"As many companies are investing in or exploring innovative uses of blockchain, this Report helps quantify risk areas and provide a monitor for the litigation climate for blockchain along with current trends," said Daniel Payne, a member of the firm's FinTech & Blockchain Practice and architect of the firm's Blockchain Litigation Database. "There is no shortage of speculation on the potential of blockchain, and this report identifies potential pitfalls and red flags for those investing or sponsoring blockchain initiatives."

According to the Report, based on data collected and analyzed from Murphy & McGonigle's proprietary Blockchain Litigation Database, five key trends emerged in 2019 that require attention from those in the blockchain space.

Five Key Headlines from the Blockchain Litigation Year in Review Report:

  1. The Southern District of New York (SDNY): More Blockchain Litigation Than Any Other Venue
  2. The SEC Remained Active, with High Profile Enforcement Activity
  3. Regulatory Enforcement Actions Drop Off
  4. American Courts Issued Rulings that will Impact the Blockchain Industry
  5. The SEC's "Path to Compliance" is a Road Less Traveled

Key Findings in Report

The Report showed that the Southern District of New York had more than twice as many blockchain cases as any other venue in the United States

"It is not entirely unexpected that a new industry that is both global and decentralized would see litigation emerging in New York," said Payne. "Given cryptocurrency's growing role in capital raising, the incidence of litigation in New York reflects the city's status as the hub of financial services."

Other key findings of the Report include continuing high-profile enforcement activities of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the impact that American court rulings will have on the blockchain industry. Looking ahead, as cases filed in the past few years progress through the court system, courts may begin issuing conflicting rulings on significant legal issues. It is important for members of the blockchain industry to be aware of developing legal trends as they happen.  

For a copy of the Murphy & McGonigle Blockchain Litigation Year in Review Report, click here.

The Blockchain Litigation Database

Created in 2018 by Murphy & McGonigle's Innovation Lab, the Blockchain Litigation Database is a proprietary, data-based tool that monitors U.S. litigation in the blockchain industry. The Blockchain Litigation Database is monitored by Murphy & McGonigle, which analyzes and interprets the data to publish the annual Blockchain Litigation Year in Review Report.

Murphy & McGonigle FinTech & Blockchain Practice

Murphy & McGonigle's leading FinTech & Blockchain Practice advises clients on the rapidly evolving legal and regulatory financial services regimes applicable to digital financial instruments, including matters related to trading, clearing, and custodying these instruments. The firm represents a large U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, clients developing platforms for digital securities, and companies seeking the New York BitLicense, among others.

The firm's FinTech & Blockchain Practice is comprised of lawyers who previously served at the SEC, the CFTC and the New York State Department of Financial Services.

About Murphy & McGonigle

Murphy & McGonigle serves the litigation, enforcement defense, and regulatory counseling needs 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 in 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.

Media Contact
Mark Curran
212.880.3989
mcurran@mmlawus.com

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SOURCE Murphy & McGonigle