David Silver is the founder of Silver Miller, 1 of the preeminent plaintiffs’ law firms in crypto litigation. Silver Miller prosecutes circumstances against wayward cryptocurrency exchanges and misleadingly presented crypto-investment offerings. The firm is focused on representing victims of monetary fraud.
The following post is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2017 in Review.
“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe
what ever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you remain in Wonderland,
and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
– Morpheus, “The Matrix” (1999)
I grew up the son of a private injury lawyer in New York and have been exposed to the law my entire life. I worked in Washington, D.C. for practically 10 years at a single of the largest and fanciest law firms in the country just before I started my personal firm. I have even represented higher-profile and higher-net-worth folks and companies.
None of this fully prepared me for my entry into the planet of digital currency. It was like Keanu Reeves getting into his personal digital globe in “The Matrix,” and it occurred at a South Beach bar in 2014.
Soon after a handful of drinks, a single of my pals took out his smartphone and sent me 5 BTC to impress our other buddies. Significantly like when Neo swallowed the red pill that was supplied to him, getting those bitcoin introduced me to a Wonderland in which I understand every day how much deeper the rabbit hole goes. (By the way: Thank you, unnamed friend! I have however to move these bitcoin and have them sitting in the identical wallet exactly where you placed them virtually 4 years ago!)
But I’m also active in the business in one more way.
In the final 3 years, I have filed lawsuits against Cryptsy, Coinbase, Kraken, Tezos and Monkey Capital to name a couple of. Much more lawsuits are coming in the days, weeks and months ahead. Dare I say, I have filed much more litigation in this space than any other lawyer in the nation. I travel the nation speaking at conferences, lectures and on Television.
I have been quoted in articles published by CoinDesk, Reuters, Bloomberg and The Monetary Occasions relating to cryptocurrency and bitcoin as an investment.
Folks ask me all the time: “Is bitcoin a very good investment? If so, exactly where ought to I purchase it?”
From my unique viewpoint in the cryptocurrency Wonderland, I tell these folks: “I have absolutely no $#@#$!% notion whether or not the cost of bitcoin is going up or down, what alternative cryptocurrency you must buy to invest in these days, or exactly where you ought to purchase it!”
The next question is usually: “Seriously, what should I do?” I can only laugh and believe to myself: “If I knew the answer, I would invest myself.” For your info, I never merely simply because I do not know what the cost of bitcoin is going to do. If I did, I would have invested in 2014 after my buddy gave me these very first five bitcoin.
What I do know, and what I can speak about somewhat intelligently, is the universal myth that at the moment exists for folks who are 1st experiencing cryptocurrencies: that all U.S.-based crypto exchanges are the same.
This myth is the single most significant threat to any investor funds in this space. KNOW. YOUR. EXCHANGE.
There is a distinction among Bittrex, Poloniex, Coinbase, Kraken, Gemini and several other lesser-known exchanges. They are not the exact same. The rates of your crypto on the exchanges are various, the guidelines and regulations they follow are distinct, the safety is various and the quality of leadership is various.
How every exchange handles challenges and adversity is distinct. I’m not here to endorse any of the different exchanges, but I can tell you that each and every a single secures buyer assets, handles client concerns and supplies help differently. Some are akin to reputable banks other people are a lot more like Bernie Madoff, with the look of sophistication and wealth although in reality, they are just common thieves and fraudsters.
What takes place when a flash crash occurs and consumers drop money? What happens when that flash crash only occurs on 1 exchange but not other folks? What takes place when that exchange occurs to offer buyers with margin trading like a standard investment house but denies that those rules apply to them? What law applies and what government agencies have the energy to enforce the theoretical laws that apply? When catastrophe strikes, what takes place?
Some exchanges respond to catastrophic events by refunding their client accounts, other exchanges tell consumers they are #@$% out of luck.
Although the latter may well be good for my company – since wrongfully imposed buyer losses are exactly where lawsuits are usually born – that is not excellent for the customer.
If you have ever heard me speak on this topic, you know I am a passionate believer that regulation is coming and that it is going to come tough and quick in the U.S.
That day of reckoning will collapse the weaker exchanges. Which exchanges will survive? Normally, these with the best leadership and that operate with transparency will rise to the prime. As for these that fail?
Good luck collecting on your losses if you had entrusted your crypto to one particular of these exchanges. It really is pricey, time consuming and you by no means know how it will turn out.
As for which ICOs are viable and which ones are not, the potential to choose a winner may possibly be a bit simpler.
The answer there is: None of them have yet proven themselves to be winners and any of them that look like winners may not in the close to future when Uncle Sam and his relatives around the world wrap their hands about ICOs and crypto-associated investments.
Although I believe that much more folks are going to join the bitcoin and cryptocurrency parade, regulation and government intervention are going to adjust all the guidelines. I have been caught on camera advising crypto organizations to get a 100 % assure of cost-free legal defense fees if their organizations relied on legal tips at $1,000+/hour and that guidance turns out to be flat wrong.
Some of my lawsuits and the lawsuits of other folks will demonstrate that the fallacies that some of these firms are advertising flagrantly violate of the law. There has but to be an ICO that did not execute that was not a safety.
There, I said it. I’m certain that lost in the flood of investment opportunities is the subsequent prospective Amazon or Netflix, but for now, the safety of far more standard investments is the right option for most folks.
I locate it odd and extremely ironic that the self-proclaimed believed leaders on regulatory suggestions at the largest law firms charging the most per hour are the same lawyers telling media outlets that folks must only invest in a crypto business an quantity they can afford to lose.
That is terrible legal suggestions and terrible investment suggestions.
In the crypto Wonderland, an educated customer is the ideal customer.
To be clear, just since my firm is involved in litigation against an exchange or a company that raised funds by way of an ICO does not mean that exchange or ICO will not survive or isn’t genuine.
To paraphrase the fictional character Amy Gardner on the Television show “The West Wing”:
“I’ve been crazy about [crypto] for longer than you have known [about it]. And I will maintain poking [it] with a stick. That is how I show my adore.”
I show my love to shield my clients who had been early adopters in this space and have been blown out of it by organizations who think they are above the law. I hold companies accountable as they develop and scale, and I will hold poking those companies with my lawsuits. That does not mean I enjoy those organizations or crypto any less. As these firms grow, scale, and legitimize in the U.S., they will find out that with responsibility comes accountability.
What you say and what you do matters. If you do not think that, either the government or a method server with a Complaint from Silver Miller is headed your way.
The upcoming year is going to be a wild ride for this space.
At FinTech 2017 in Washington, D.C., some individuals even claimed that 2018 is going to be “The Year of Crypto Litigation.” They’re probably proper. Nonetheless, if there is litigation, that indicates folks have lost their income. That is not good for crypto customers or crypto organizations. I hope 2018 is the year of transparency and serviceable regulation.
A pinch right here and a pinch there, not too small and certainly not as well significantly. Whilst several of my clients started as anarchists- and libertarians-at-heart, their focus changed when poor actors did negative issues to them.
When somebody steals your cash and you shed that which you believe belongs to you, you seek justice.
In the U.S., justice needs law and order. In one of my instances, we had to get a federal court judge to order the return to my consumers of 11,000+ stolen bitcoin, presently valued at more than $150 million. When my clients had their bitcoin stolen from them, they stopped caring so significantly about decentralization and autonomous and anonymous transactions.
At that point, they merely cared about their missing cryptocurrency.
And in an ironic twist of fate, the individual who helped my clientele regain their faith in the non-governmentally-regulated world of cryptocurrency was… a government officer with a robe and a gavel. Possibly some government intervention into the crypto Wonderland is not so poor soon after all.
World wide web crime image by means of Shutterstock
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Published at Mon, 08 Jan 2018 09:00:38 +0000