Digital Assets, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

Firmly Footed in the Centralized Finance and DeFi Worlds

Haynes Boone is a pioneering law firm in the areas of cryptocurrency, digital assets, and blockchain financial transactions. As one of the only firms to have extensive experience in the financial services and the decentralized finance worlds, Haynes Boone’s Digital Asset and Blockchain - Financial Transaction and Regulatory Group has advised and counseled some of the largest financial institutions and some of the most well-known cryptocurrency players in all aspects of Fintech. 

Paving the way for both emerging companies and well-established global financial institutions entering the cryptocurrency market for the first time, Haynes Boone’s Digital Asset and Blockchain Group has worked on numerous first-of-their-kind transactions and has remained the vanguard as the cryptocurrency and blockchain world has grown and evolved. 

In emerging markets, everything requires structure and standards to ensure a proper foundation for the next stage of its development – this includes a formidable legal foundation. Our Digital Asset and Blockchain Group has developed for our clients the standardized set of transaction documents used in the market today, including master digital currency loan agreements (MDCLA), crypto swap agreements, and crypto repo agreements. These documents are the backbone for the rapidly advancing digital assets cryptocurrency marketplace.

Haynes Boone offers a full range of services to its clients entering into the digital asset and cryptocurrency markets for the first time and those well-established in the DeFi space.

  • Crypto Lending / Borrowing
  • Crypto Derivative Financings
  • Blockchain networks
  • Exchanges
  • Equipment Financing
  • Staking Transactions
  • Federal and State Securities compliance
  • FinCEN, CFTC, and SEC regulatory advising
  • Securities Regulatory
  • SEC and Government Investigations
  • Intellectual Property
  • Technology Licensing
  • Fund structuring
  • Securitization of digital assets

Haynes Boone’s Digital Asset and Blockchain Group keeps abreast of the latest legal and market developments and works collaboratively to help clients anticipate emerging issues and implement proven strategies.

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Our Experience

Fintech Firms & Emerging Companies
Our Digital Asset and Blockchain Group is conversant in all aspects of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Having worked alongside global banks and financial institutions for decades, our cryptocurrency group knows deeply the heavily regulated global financial world. Yet we also possess comprehensive knowledge of the distinct challenges Fintech firms and emerging companies face in the quickly evolving regulatory environment.

Haynes Boone works alongside Fintech firms and emerging companies from their inception to their expansion as they scale. Our clients seek our counsel on all aspects of business formation and product development, including selecting the most appropriate legal structure, establishing trading platforms, securing financing, developing credit cards, securing intellectual property, advising on labor and employment legal matters, and providing regulatory guidance on Federal and state levels. In addition, our venture capital markets group advises and coordinates startup fundraising for newly developed entities and emerging Fintech firms.

The Haynes Boone footprint and breadth of reach extends well-beyond the U.S. market. We have worked on various international transactions through our international offices and our network of international partners in both regulatory and transactional matters. Our firm has the access and availability to meet you and your customers wherever you and they are.

Our Fintech and emerging company clients value that we are partnering with them to shape and elevate the future of digital assets and cryptocurrency into a new financial powerhouse beyond Wall Street.
Banks & Global Financial Institutions
Trusted by the largest global financial institutions and forward-looking financial services companies, Haynes Boone advises banks and financial services institutions in their entry to the cryptocurrency marketplace.

In the past few years, the digital asset and cryptocurrency market has seen a rapid influx of professionals and institutions with backgrounds from traditional Wall Street firms. Our decades of experience working with these firms, corporations, and institutional investors on margin lending, derivatives, complex financing, and related regulatory issues has allowed Haynes Boone to be well-placed to lead clients through the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency and blockchain transactions and technologies.

Whether it’s advising on virtual assets, custodial issues, dealing with insolvency issues, or risk mitigation, our cryptocurrency group is seasoned at counseling traditional financial services firms on all aspects of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
Non-Fungible Tokens and Third-Party Custodians
As blockchain technology and token technology develops, so do the legal complexities around emerging technologies and custodial safekeeping in the cryptocurrency space. With the emergence of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and NFT marketplaces, third-party custodians have become popular and necessary for the storage and safekeep of valuable NFTs, which can be commoditized or used as collateral in future financial transactions.

Working alongside some of the premiere cryptocurrency and digital asset custodians in the industry, we have advised our clients on various legal issues surrounding NFT safekeeping and NFT collateral, including securities law, commodities regulations and compliance, intellectual property issues, financial lending regulations, and state and federal laws. Most recently, we worked alongside a client to assist with the transfer of NFT patents through a tokenized auction.

In addition to serving as counsel to third-party custodians, we assist our clients with negotiating custodial agreement with cryptocurrency exchanges and exchange platforms in the cryptocurrency and digital asset markets. These custodial arrangements allow for our clients to safeguard assets with the highest degree of security while providing institutional-quality financial services to cryptocurrency and digital asset investors.

Working with a law firm that understands the intricacies of the cryptocurrency and the digital asset space and is fully engaged with and abreast of the strict and often cumbersome financial regulations and securities laws affecting emerging digital assets is paramount. As the cryptocurrency and digital asset market continues to flourish and grow in popularity, having a solid legal team firmly footed in both worlds is a sound, strategic decision.


Key Terms

Crypto swap agreements: Swap is’s in-wallet crypto-to-crypto exchange. Swap allows users to easily exchange one cryptocurrency for another without leaving their Wallet.

Crypto repo agreements: A crypto-repo transaction lets one party borrow crypto assets from another party, committing to return those assets with interest at a future date. The borrower provides crypto assets to the lender as collateral, creating a secured digital transaction using an Ethereum-based Smart Contract.

Staking Transactions: The process of actively participating in transaction validation (similar to mining) on a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain. On these blockchains, anyone with a minimum-required balance of a specific cryptocurrency can validate transactions and earn Staking rewards.

FinCEN, CFTC, and SEC regulatory advising:

FinCEN: The mission of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is to safeguard the financial system from illicit use, combat money laundering and its related crimes including terrorism, and promote national security through the strategic use of financial authorities and the collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence.

CFTC: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is an independent federal agency that regulates commodity futures and options markets in the United States. Its goals include the promotion of competitive and efficient futures markets and the protection of investors against manipulation, abusive trade practices, and fraud. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission Act established the CFTC in 1974.

SEC: The Securities and Exchange Commission is a federal agency that regulates securities markets in the United States. The SEC is responsible for enforcing securities laws, regulating the securities markets and related entities and working to ensure investors are treated fairly.

Token technology: Cryptographic tokens represent a set of rules, encoded in a smart contract – the token contract. Every token belongs to a blockchain address. These tokens are accessible with a dedicated wallet so ware that communicates with the blockchain and manages the public-private key pair related to the blockchain address.

Non-fungible tokens: An NFT is a digital asset that represents real-world objects like art, music, in-game items and videos. They are bought and sold online, frequently with cryptocurrency, and they are generally encoded with the same underlying software as many cryptos.

Third-party custodians: Third-party custodian means a securities institution which, at the request of the Bank or other third-party custodian, holds securities in safekeeping on custody accounts on behalf of clients. It can also mean a firm other than us which is appointed to provide custody services in relation to your Portfolio.

China Intensifies Regulations on Cryptocurrency Trading and Mining
November, 02 2021

The People’s Bank of China (“PBOC”) posted the Notice on Further Prevention and Disposal of the Risk of Speculation in Virtual Currency Trading (“Notice”) (关于进一步防范和处置虚拟货币交易炒作风险的通知) on its website on September 24, 2021. This Notice is marked effective as of September 15, 2021. The Notice reinforced the concept that cryptocurrency is illegal and provides that all related services, such as offering t [...]