Quinn emanuel trial lawyers

Cryptocurrency Litigation

IntroductionSign up for firm Publications  Print

Firm attorneys around the world have deep experience representing and advising clients in cryptocurrency-related disputes and government investigations. We have acted for individuals and companies ranging from cryptocurrency investors and ICO start-up CEOs, to cryptocurrency exchanges and banking entities, cryptocurrency development platforms, cryptocurrency mining companies, and confidential whistleblowers. Clients turn to us in cryptocurrency matters across the spectrum for our market-leading litigation and investigations expertise. We have been involved in investigations by the SEC and CFTC, claims involving breach of contract, fraud and computer hacking, trademark infringement, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, intellectual property matters, share valuation, and employment and currency manipulation. Quinn Emanuel is also unique in that we represent both plaintiffs and defendants in different cases. This gives us rare insight into the thinking of the parties and lawyers on the other side.

Since the creation of Bitcoin in 2009, the world of cryptocurrencies has expanded rapidly, drawing large amounts of attention and scrutiny, and creating significant wealth for many new entrants to this market. With the meteoric rise of Bitcoin and Ether, the surge of new currencies, and—until recently—the relative lack of regulation, it is no surprise the cryptocurrency marketplace has been fertile ground for civil litigation and government inquiries. More recently, cryptocurrencies have attracted increased regulatory scrutiny and enforcement actions, including from the SEC, which has monitored ICOs for fraud and misconduct; the CFTC, which has exercised authority over derivatives markets; the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which has classified non-securities and non-commodities as “money transmitters” subject to anti-money laundering requirements; and state banking regulators, which have overseen cryptocurrency trading platforms with an eye toward consumer protection. Quinn Emanuel is committed to staying on top of the latest developments in technology and regulation.

Our cryptocurrency practice includes individuals with extensive regulatory, prosecution, and trial experience. For example, Dave Grable is a former federal prosecutor who has litigated significant, high-dollar claims involving cryptocurrency companies; Michael Liftik is former Deputy Chief of Staff at the SEC, where he helped developed the agency’s earliest policy responses to cryptocurrencies, and who currently represents several individuals and companies in ongoing SEC and CFTC cryptocurrency investigations; and Alex Spiro is a former prosecutor who specializes in white collar crime and an array of complex issues in a wide range of industries.

As heightened regulatory activity in the area of cryptocurrency continues and civil disputes among participants emerge in this space, Quinn Emanuel’s cryptocurrency practice is laser-focused on the latest developments and can help you or your company stay on the right side of the emerging law. As the world’s best trial lawyers, Quinn Emanuel is perfectly situated to handle the broad spectrum of issues that cryptocurrency creators, facilitators, and investors face on a regular basis—we have handled it all.

Back to Top

Recent Representations Print

  • We represent Ripple in a dispute involving fraud and breach of contract related to multiple agreements, including an option grant for 5 billion units of the cryptocurrency, XRP.
  • We defended Gems.org on a trademark infringement claim by BitVault, Inc. involving the Gems cryptocurrency and protocol for microtasking using the Ethereum blockchain.
  • We obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of Alibaba Group Holding Limited to prevent trademark infringement by a foreign cryptocurrency issuer and promoter. The case raised significant legal questions about the jurisdiction of U.S. courts over infringing offshore cryptocurrency businesses whose investors’ identities are unknown. It is one of the first such victories in the blockchain/cryptocurrency field anywhere in the United States, and the first by a major Chinese technology company.
  • We represent a cryptocurrency investor, a digital asset platform, and an ICO start-up CEO in separate SEC investigations regarding compliance with the registration provisions and other aspects of the federal securities laws.
  • We represent a confidential whistleblower who uncovered fraud in an ICO.
  • We commenced Delaware proceedings and utilized subpoena powers to trace and recover funds stolen from a cryptocurrency investor by a hacker, successfully identifying the hacker in this process;
  • We represent a high net worth cryptocurrency investor with claims for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty against Gemini Exchange.
  • We advised a multinational cryptocurrency mining company on the UK AML risks of cryptocurrency mining.
  • We advised a major cryptocurrency mining company regarding patent law and intellectual property matters.
  • We advised an exiting employee and shareholder of a cryptocurrency exchange regarding share valuation, employment law issues, and a CFTC investigation of currency manipulation.
  • We provided cryptocurrency-related advice to, and conducted internal investigations for, various cryptocurrency-related banking entities.
Back to Top