New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently called on cryptocurrency exchanges to answer a questionnaire regarding their business operations. Felix Shipkevich provided commentary as an ICO attorney within the state providing counsel to money service business. Kraken CEO Jesse Powell criticized the Attorney General’s request for their company information and operating procedures through a 34 point questionnaire found here. Thirteen other virtual currency exchanges also received the questionnaire, including Coinbase (GDAX), Gemini, bitFlyer, Bitfinex, itBit, and Binance. Reportedly San Francisco-based Kraken exchange was the only to criticize the New York Attorney General’s request for information, claiming that they left New York in 2015 due to restrictive virtual currency laws.
“Kraken left New York because New York is hostile to crypto, and this ‘questionnaire’ we received today proves that New York is not only hostile to crypto, it is hostile to business.”
The MarketWatch article cites the Attorney General’s Office email correspondence stating that they have jurisdiction over businesses outside of New York with operations in the state. Mr. Shipkevich provided commentary regarding the state’s jurisdiction and motive. Being counsel to money transmitter service business and with extensive involvement in the cryptocurrency space, Felix Shipkevich offered experience-based observations in the regulatory actions. The article concludes with a reply from Coinbase and Bitfinex head of marketing supporting the Attorney General’s actions.
Cryptocurrency raised billions of investor money in 2017 and by the end of the year Bitcoin hit its all time high. Along with the headlines also came regulators exposing the most extreme cryptocurrency scams involving Ponzi schemes and “pump-and-dump” practices. The biggest federal regulatory agencies such as the Securities Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Internal Revenue Service, and Department of Treasury had issued warnings for investors to beware of fraudulent ICOs and other virtual currency. The year 2018 started with these same regulators extend their jurisdiction in the virtual currency space enforcing more court orders and subpoenas against more ICO scams.