As Bitcoin and similar currencies become more common, it is growing increasingly important to know how to use them. Digital currency transactions can raise distinctive types of issues, involving regulatory compliance, transaction disputes, and criminal charges. Since Bitcoin’s origins in 2009, the law in this area has expanded dramatically. Keeping a keen eye on developments, Bitcoin attorney Roger E. Naghash has the knowledge to take on a broad range of virtual currency cases. From his office in Orange County, Mr. Naghash serves clients not just in Southern California but throughout the United States.Legal Guidance on Following Federal Regulations
In 2011, the federal government began an effort to tax and regulate Bitcoin transactions. As more innovative forms of virtual currency are introduced, the government tends to respond with further regulations. It can be difficult to stay abreast of these fast-moving regulatory efforts, and a knowledgeable attorney can be very helpful in this regard.
Many government agencies have shown an interest in the digital currency revolution. In March 2014, the IRS announced that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are assets. This means that they are subject to capital gains tax when they appreciate in value and are used in subsequent purchases.
The U.S. Treasury Department also issued new rules in 2013, classifying some entities as “money transmitters.” This interpretation requires those entities to comply with transaction identification and reporting rules aimed at fighting organized crime and terrorism. Similarly, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has shown a keen interest in some types of transactions involving the use of virtual currency in the stock market.
Regulatory efforts continue to evolve, and some digital currencies adapt their technology to exploit the way regulations are implemented. This can create an ongoing arms race between legislators and the virtual currency community. A violation of these ever-changing federal and state regulations can result in asset seizures, fines, and even criminal charges.Aggressive Representation in Civil Lawsuits
Bitcoin often substitutes for conventional money in ordinary commercial transactions involving the sale of goods and services. These new currencies are not immune to ordinary transaction issues, such as errors within agreements, breach of contract, misunderstandings between parties, and fraud. Virtual currency transactions are very hard to cancel or reverse. This can cause problems when a transaction goes wrong.
The recordkeeping system found in Bitcoin’s block chain ledger can also facilitate anonymous transactions, complicating the situation when trouble arises. Anonymity can bolster your personal privacy, but it can also conceal con artists who engage in fraudulent activity.
Digital currency disputes can involve claims for monetary damages, demands for delivery of the product or service promised, contract re-negotiation or revision, and even criminal prosecution in some cases of fraud.Build a Tenacious Criminal Defense
In addition to regulatory concerns, virtual currency can play a central role in more traditional types of crime. Bitcoin’s anonymity feature has been used to enable some types of unlawful purchases that may be serious offenses, such as illegal purchases of weapons or drugs. One such high-profile case is that of Silk Road’s alleged owner, Ross Ulbricht, whose Bitcoin assets of over $28 million were seized in a criminal investigation into alleged illegal drug sales.
Even ordinary cash has a history of being used for nefarious ends, but digital currency transactions can make the courtroom defense of criminal charges more complex. When facing the possibility of fines, forfeiture, or even incarceration, it is best to find an attorney with the experience it takes to build a nuanced, creative defense.Discuss Your Case With a Knowledgeable Bitcoin Attorney
Whether you are involved in a civil matter or a criminal prosecution, a dispute involving virtual currency is too complex to confront alone. Take the time to consult California Bitcoin lawyer Roger E. Naghash, who can explore the details of your case. Call his Orange County office at (949) 955-1000 or fill out the contact form on our site to set up a free appointment.