Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoins, are virtual, digital money that have no government or central bank backing. Since their first appearance around 2009, they have gained broader acceptance and seen expanded use. Today, mainstream businesses have begun to accept cryptocurrencies as payment for goods and services, and many who are not currently accepting cryptocurrency are considering the possibility. Active exchange markets have been established to trade Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies against traditional currencies.

The use of cryptocurrencies involves complex legal issues of regulatory compliance, valuation and management protocols and controls, among other considerations. Businesses considering entering into the cryptocurrency space will need sophisticated and knowledgeable legal counsel to provide the guidance necessary to navigate this cutting-edge technology. Similarly, banks, broker-dealers, investment funds and other financial institutions will need legal counsel who know how to manage risk and ensure compliance with rapidly changing cryptocurrency technology and regulations.

Responsive and knowledgeable about the complex constellation of legal questions involved in dealing with cryptocurrencies, Thompson Hine has moved to the forefront of law firms counseling clients in the evolving Bitcoin and cryptocurrency environment.


Our experience in representing public and private businesses, including financial institutions, banks, broker-dealers, investment funds and retail businesses in connection with all aspects of their business, operations and financial affairs, including counseling clients on regulatory compliance and risk management, puts us in a unique position to represent them in connection with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

An illustrative sampling of our experience includes:

White Collar

  • Defending parties in numerous proceedings initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Internal Revenue Service, New York Stock Exchange, Federal Trade Commission, Department of Commerce, congressional committees and states’ attorney general, among others.

Privacy and Technology

  • Assisting clients in developing, implementing, managing, and monitoring enterprise-wide, global privacy and data security policies, programs and protocols.
  • Advising on the trans-border transfer of sensitive personal data, including data transfers from and to European Union operations in connection with mergers and acquisitions, human resource operations, IT systems and other contexts.
  • Assisting global companies with certification under the Department of Commerce Safe Harbor program.
  • Representing companies in litigation growing out of data security incidents and cybercrimes.
  • Creating web site, extranet and computer network policies, including privacy policies and terms of use.
  • Counseling companies on maintaining and operating legal compliance programs, including confidential whistleblower mechanisms, in the face of conflicting global privacy laws.
  • Litigating federal and state privacy and internet matters.
  • Counseling on records retention and data destruction plans.