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Proposed “Bitlicense” Regulations Published to the New York Register

Today’s New York State Register includes a Notice of Proposed Rule Making from the New York State Department of Financial Services (the “NYSDFS”) regarding the regulation of virtual currency (“Regulation of the Conduct of Virtual Currency Businesses,” No. DFS-29-14-00015-P).  The proposed rule calls for the creation of the “bitlicense” which the NYSDFS has hinted at … Continue Reading

FINRA Issues Investor Alert Concerning Bitcoin Trading and Speculation

Bitcoin remains fixed on the front pages of the business and technology news for both the salacious and the positive. Much attention has been paid to the collapse of the former top bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, stemming from the purported theft of nearly $500 million in bitcoins.  The temporary suspension of trading in the securities … Continue Reading

Bitcoins: Legal and Business Issues

On Monday, the Senate Committee On Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held the first of two days of hearings on Bitcoin and digital currencies — Beyond Silk Road: Potential Risks, Threats, and Promises of Virtual Currencies.  During the “surprisingly friendly” hearings, the price of bitcoin soared as regulators, officials, and academics offered cautious, but positive … Continue Reading

Trade Dress Can Be Viable Means of Protecting Websites from Competitor’s Look-Alike Sites

Somewhere between a well-recognized website design like Google’s home page and a fledgling e-commerce venture built with free web building software lives most other websites.  Depending on the investment in the development and the operator’s design ethic, some websites may display unique, distinctive portals that are key to attracting and retaining customers.  For those with … Continue Reading

SEC Has Conditional “Like” for Social Media Disclosures by Securities Issuers—A Reason to Reevaluate Electronic Communications Policies and Practices

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission gave disclosures made through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter a conditional “thumbs up” in a Report of Investigation it released on April 2, 2013.  Issuers of securities, the SEC stated, can use social media to disseminate material, nonpublic information without having to make any other disclosures … Continue Reading

U. S. Supreme Court Unanimously Rule that GPS Installation and Tracking of a Vehicle Constitutes a Search, But The Justices Disagree on Rationale – Are Lines Being Drawn on Privacy Rights and New Technology?

In a narrowly-drawn majority opinion, the United States Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Antoine Jones that the Government’s attachment of a GPS-tracking device to a vehicle, and the subsequent monitoring of the movements of that vehicle on public streets, constitutes a search. Because the Government conceded in the case that it did not … Continue Reading
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