Law Decoded: All roads lead to New York, June 19-26

 

Every Friday, Law Decoded offers an analysis of the week’s critical stories in the areas of policy, regulation and law.

Editor’s Note
New York, the largest city in the United States and the financial capital of the world for most of the last century, is used to playing a leading role in the world of art, music, literature and film. With all the attention, the Big Apple usually has a huge reputation. But this week, it has also earned attention as the setting for a marathon of Fintech law dramas.

Given the status of New York City, it is not uncommon Bitcoin Loophole for Americans to be more familiar with the name of their mayor than their own governor. New York’s courts dictate the rules of the national and even global economy. It is also a coveted marketplace, even for crypto companies that also operate under the philosophy of „if I can do it here, I can do it anywhere.

Ripple executive says slow U.S. response to Blockchain could be catastrophic for the country

Today, we examine an unfortunate situation in New York’s top court, a case with major implications for future ICOs (Initial Offer of Coins) that may fall in the same court, and new opportunities for cryptology companies seeking to establish themselves in the city that never sleeps.

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Should I stay or should I go?
Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and longtime enemy of crypto-currency companies seeking to operate within the United States, was at the center of a strange scandal involving President Trump, Attorney General William Barr, and the Southern District Court of New York.

On Friday night, the Justice Department announced that Geoffrey Berman, the attorney for the SDNY (United States District Court for the Southern District of New York), had resigned. The same statement named Clayton as Berman’s replacement.

The SDNY includes Manhattan and as such has great authority over world finance, including crypto-finance. The Telegram and Bitfinex cases are being processed there as well. Under Berman, it was the same court that sent Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to jail and is currently investigating his current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

According to Berman, he learned of his own resignation through the same announcement Friday night. Clayton’s status remains uncertain, as Berman’s deputy, Audrey Strauss, has taken the reins and it seems unlikely that the Senate will confirm any of Clayton’s highly politicized nominations.

It is known that Clayton was looking to return to his home in New York. Reports say he mentioned interest in Berman’s work at the NYSD while playing golf with Trump. Despite the incredible incompetence of the transition, any potential change in the NYSD or the SEC is necessary.