FinTech & Blockchain

Mark M. Attar attorney profile image

Washington, DC

T: (202) 661-7021
F: (202) 661-7059
Larry E. Bergmann attorney profile image

Washington, DC

C: (202) 480-7222
T: (202) 661-7032
F: (202) 661-7059
Daniel T. Brown attorney profile image

Washington, DC

T: (202) 661-7020
F: (202) 661-7059
Katherine Cooper attorney profile image

New York, NY

T: (212) 880-3630
F: (212) 825-9828
James Dombach attorney profile image

Washington, DC

C: (202) 834-2080
T: (202) 661-7019
F: (202) 661-7059
Stephen T. Gannon attorney profile image

Washington, DC

T: (202) 220-1924
F: (202) 661-7059

Richmond, VA

T: (804) 762-5339
James K. Goldfarb attorney profile image

New York, NY

C: (917) 697-7715
T: (212) 880-3961
F: (212) 880-3998
Ella Markina attorney profile image

Richmond, VA

C: (804) 418-0889
T: (804) 762-5336
F: (804) 762-5366
Cameron S. Matheson attorney profile image

Richmond, VA

C: (804) 350-1771
T: (804) 762-5332
F: (804) 762-5361
Andrew J. Melnick attorney profile image

New York, NY

C: (203) 984-8256
T: (212) 880-3580
F: (212) 880-3998
Daniel M. Payne attorney profile image

Richmond, VA

C: (804) 350-1748
T: (804) 762-5335
F: (804) 762-5358
William E. Walsh attorney profile image

Chicago, IL

T: (312) 820-5114
F: (312) 820-5106
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Looking Forward

All signs point towards a breakout year in 2021 for blockchain technology, cryptocurrency adoption, and increased issuance and trading of digital securities. Bucking the COVID-19 worldwide recession, Bitcoin went on a tear in the second half of 2020 and was poised to break its all-time high in November. Other major indicators of market adoption of blockchain and crypto in 2020 include:

  • Congress introduced more crypto-focused legislation
  • Continued development and maturation of cryptocurrency market structure, including use of cryptocurrency prime brokers, particularly in the institutional space
  • Increased infrastructure to issue and trade digital securities
  • The OCC announced national banks can provide custody for customers’ cryptocurrencies
  • DeFi, in which cryptocurrencies are leveraged in blockchain-based financial products, continues to expand

With crypto prices soaring, we expect more capital raising in blockchain-based companies using digital securities. Companies will want to raise capital in registered and exempt securities offerings as the negative consequences of the 2017 ICO craze have been realized. The SEC notched two big wins this year in heavily litigated and closely watched cases: federal courts ruled that the coin offerings run by elegram and Kik were governed by the securities laws. It is unclear how the change in administration may impact the SEC’s approach to regulating cryptocurrency.

2021 is likely to see new use cases for blockchain as capital pours into the industry. Beyond blockchain, artificial intelligence will continue to transform investment advisory services by automating the process and driving down fees. Machine learning is disrupting automated trading and pushing the boundaries of high-frequency trading algorithms.