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Rapid Response Team: 0800 559 3500
Switchboard: +44 (0)203 947 1539
Rapid Response Team: 0800 559 3500
Switchboard: +44 (0)203 947 1539

Cryptoassets and Cryptocurrencies

Regulation of cryptocurrency is still evolving. Anyone using it must be aware of the risks. Anyone who comes under investigation for using it must know how to respond.

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Overview

As one of the latest and most innovative developments in business and finance, cryptocurrency – and, in particular, its use of encrypted, decentralised blockchain - has revolutionised the way individuals and corporates conduct operations. Cryptocurrency and decentralised ledger technology offers new business possibilities, either through investment or its use in transactions. It is an ever-developing area, and Rahman Ravelli offers sophisticated and knowledgeable legal counsel to navigate this rapidly-evolving space. 

At the heart of Rahman Ravelli’s cryptocurrency and blockchain practice is a deep understanding of the technologies that drive blockchain and related developments in distributive computing networks.

The fact that cryptocurrency does not adhere to borders, that its regulation is in its relative infancy and the risks it carries mean that anyone considering any involvement with it must be fully aware of its intricacies. At Rahman Ravelli, our international experience means that we are ideally placed to offer the best advice, carry out the necessary checks, deal with the relevant enforcement agencies worldwide and assist whenever assets need to be traced and recovered.

While cryptocurrency and blockchain is still a relatively new concept from a regulation perspective, it has attracted the attention of enforcement agencies around the world. Such agencies have been quick to assess the potential dangers associated with such currencies, as well as allegations that they have been set up to defraud investors and / or are being used to facilitate other offences. From email scams to ransomware, cybercrime can take many forms. In recent years, cryptocurrency has also become the preferred detergent for offenders looking to launder money.

Any company or individual that comes under investigation has to know how to respond – and must do so quickly. We at Rahman Ravelli have put ourselves at the forefront of representing those who believe they may have - or are accused of having - used cryptocurrency as a vehicle for wrongdoing

Many may also find themselves wanting to recoup their cryptoassets as a result of wrongdoing which has been committed against them. Here at Rahman Ravelli, we employ a number of civil recovery instruments that are at our disposal to seek a return of the asset to the rightful owner.  We have seen first-hand how cryptoassets have been identified as being suitable for civil remedies including proprietary injunctions, freezing injunctions, bankers trust orders and Norwich Pharmacal orders. We also work closely with asset tracing companies to assist in the location of the cryptoassets to enhance the effectiveness of any orders we seek.  

Our specialist cryptocurrency team at Rahman Ravelli brings together a wealth of legal expertise from multiple disciplines across the firm, including our investigations, litigation, regulatory, asset tracing and business crime practices.

We specialise in all areas of cryptoasset compliance and all types of cryptoasset disputes and are on hand to ensure that we can help in whatever way assistance is needed.

What is a Cryptoasset / Cryptocurrency?

The term ‘cryptoasset’ is used as a catch-all for any form of digital asset that exists solely within the internet. 

The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (UKJT) established in November 2019 stated that cryptoassets are “property” under English law — but they are not “things in possession”, and they have been defined by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as:

 ‘A cryptographically secured digital representation of value or contractual rights that uses a form of distributed ledger technology and can be transferred, stored or traded electronically’

‘Cryptocurrency’ is a digital or virtual currency accessed via the internet that is secured by cryptography and used to make cross-border payments and fund transfers. Many cryptocurrencies are decentralised networks based on blockchain technology — a distributed ledger enforced by a disparate network of computers. A defining feature of cryptocurrencies is that they are generally not issued by any central authority, rendering them theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation. According to the FCA, cryptocurrency is:

“Any publicly available electronic medium of exchange that features a distributed ledger and a decentralised system for exchanging value”

When Can a Cryptocurrency Dispute Arise?

Disputes involving cryptoassets can occur in a number of situations. These may include: 

  • Where a claimant is trying to recover cryptocurrencies or access to a private key; 
  • Where a criminal matter has occurred, such as fraud or money laundering; 
  • Where a party is allegedly using cryptoassets to hide assets;
  • Where a party is allegedly concealing assets in the course of litigation; or
  • Where there is a breach of contract by way of inducement.
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Syedur Rahman

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syedur.rahman@rahmanravelli.co.uk
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Syedur Rahman is known for his in-depth experience of serious fraud, white-collar crime and serious crime cases, as well as his expertise in worldwide asset tracing and recovery, civil recovery, cryptocurrency and high-stakes commercial disputes.

Notable cryptocurrency experience.
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Legal Articles

The Met, Money Laundering and Meeting the Cryptocurrency Challenge
For a police force that has been largely lagging behind its counterparts around the world, the Metropolitan Police appears to have started to turn the tide in its efforts to tackle cryptocurrency-rela...

2 min read - Published Jul 2021
Amazon, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency’s move to the mainstream
The rising popularity of Bitcoin is reflected in the fact that many businesses now accept it as a viable payment method. And while it is unlikely that it will soon be accepted by all  shops, there are...

2 min read - Published Jul 2021
Barclays has told its customers they cannot make credit or debit payments to the cryptocurrency exchange Binance
Syed Rahman of financial crime specialists Rahman Ravelli assesses why Barclays is not the only lender to have such concerns. 

1 min read - Published Jul 2021
Russia looks to legislation to help it tackle cryptocurrency-related crime
Russia has announced that it will introduce legislation to give law enforcement agencies the power to confiscate cryptocurrency that has been obtained illegally.

< 1 min read - Published Jul 2021

Events

International Trends in Crypto Investing

Rahman Ravelli’s Syed Rahman is to be one of the key speakers at an international cryptocurrency online event.

9 June 2021

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