The Legit Ledger Episode 10: Government Overreach on Blockchain Tech? The Tornado Cash Lawsuit with Christopher Bosch and Zack Golda
In this episode of The Legit Ledger, Sheppard Mullin attorneys Chris Bosch and Zack Golda join host Yasamin Parsafar to discuss the Tornado Cash lawsuit, which claims the OFAC exceeded its authority by prohibiting U.S. citizens from interacting with the crypto mixer.
What We Discuss in This Episode:
- Can you provide a high-level explanation of what Tornado Cash is?
- What does it mean for an entity to be on the OFAC's SDN List?
- Why did OFAC add Tornado Cash to the SDN list?
- Are you aware of any other instance where a technology was added to the SDN list?
- Who are the plaintiffs in this case? What claims are they bringing in general?
- It appears OFAC published new FAQs specifically in response to the Tornado Cash lawsuit. What can you tell us about those FAQs?
- Can you explain how technology like Tornado Cash can be protected under the First Amendment?
- The OFAC position appears to be that it's regulating conduct, not speech. How would that argument impact the First Amendment issue?
- Are there any First Amendment implications associated with dusting transactions?
About Yasamin Parsafar
Yasamin Parsafar is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s San Francisco office, where she serves as co-leader of the firm’s Blockchain & Fintech team. Her practice focuses on protecting her clients’ intellectual property rights through counseling, prosecution, enforcement, and litigation. Yasamin leverages her litigation experience to strengthen and protect her clients’ intellectual property, manage risks, and position businesses to succeed in the event of a dispute. She frequently advises and protects brands venturing into web3 on various issues related to non-fungible tokens, metaverses, games, online marketplaces, and other platforms.
About Christopher Bosch
As an associate in the Governmental Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s New York office, Christopher Bosch primarily focuses on Securities regulation, compliance, and litigation, as well as internal investigations and white collar defense. He frequently represents banks, broker-dealers, investment advisers, boards of directors, corporate officers, financial advisors and other securities professionals in connection with internal investigations and inquiries by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Southern District of New York and Northern District of California, the SEC, the CFTC, FINRA, the IRS, the FRB, the NY Department of Financial Services.
Christopher advises financial institutions on compliance with data privacy and cybersecurity legal mandates, and represented a blockchain investor in connection with shareholder derivative and class actions alleging securities law violations. He also advises firms regarding digital token issuances and regulatory compliance, and regularly publishes on regulatory developments in the cybersecurity, blockchain and cryptocurrency spaces.
About Zack Golda
Zack Golda is an associate in Sheppard Mullin’s Business Trial Practice Group in the Orange County, California office, where he primarily focuses on general business litigation, including regulatory challenges, breach of contract, business torts, blockchain, sports and other high-stakes business litigation matters. As a member of the firm’s Blockchain Industry Group, Zack has litigated cases involving blockchain, privacy, and regulatory issues. He has also drafted several articles about regulatory advances in the cryptocurrency space, covering topics such as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and SEC and CFTC regulation of the blockchain industry.
Zack also is a member of the California Regulatory Practice Group, where he advises clients on communicating with regulators, analyzing and responding to agency proposed rulemakings and, where necessary, litigating constitutional, statutory, and procedural challenges to newly passed regulations.
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This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.