White Collar Defense and Investigations

Web3 and Digital Assets

Skadden’s Web3 and Digital Assets Group advises many of the largest and best-known Web3-native companies, as well as financial institutions, entertainment companies, global brands and sports leagues, on their Web3 and digital asset engagements. Clients continuously turn to our attorneys not only because of our experience handling complex Web3 legal issues, but also because of our deep understanding of the technology, tokenomics and business models driving the sector. Our practice is ranked in the highest bands of Chambers FinTech and Chambers USA, including for Crypto-Asset Disputes, Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies and Corporate, Securities & Financing. We also were named a 2022 Law360 Fintech Practice Group of the Year.

As Web3 and blockchain technology has evolved, Skadden has helped clients around the world navigate the complex legal and regulatory environment surrounding this new technology, providing innovative legal solutions, which in many cases are issues of first impression.

Our work includes advising on technology transactions, intellectual property, securities regulation and enforcement, state and federal financial regulation, corporate, tax, litigation, data privacy, mergers and acquisitions, anti-money laundering and foreign asset controls, trading and market regulation and consumer protections.

The scope of our Web3 and digital assets practice reflects the diversity of issues that can arise in the space, and we frequently utilize our worldwide network of attorneys and extensive knowledge base to counsel our clients. Our team includes former officials from regulatory agencies, such as the SEC, CFTC and FinCEN, who have deep experience with how existing regulations may apply to these new technologies.

Our client base covers every type of Web3 stakeholder, including:

  • NFT issuers, minters, marketplaces and service providers;
  • DeFi protocol developers;
  • Virtual currency developers, providers and exchanges;
  • Web3 protocol and distributed app (dAPP) developers;
  • Layer 2 protocol developers;
  • Stablecoin issuers;
  • Crypto asset mining companies;
  • Providers of custody services;
  • Web3 venture capital firms;
  • Providers of Web3 audit and security tools; and
  • Traditional financial institutions, such as asset managers, banks, broker-dealers, financial services companies and funds, in their Web3 and digital asset projects.

Our representations have included advising on:

  • All aspects of NFT work for numerous global and household name brands, major U.S. sports leagues, entertainment companies, auction houses, “native” NFT issuers and NFT platforms;
  • Fiat-backed and algorithmic stablecoin projects;
  • Regulatory and legal matters relating to the development of blockchain platforms, Level 2 protocols and related digital assets;
  • Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) projects;
  • Regulatory and transactional work in connection with DeFi protocols;
  • Regulatory and transactional work for various digital asset exchanges;
  • Commercial, regulatory and intellectual property work for a Web3 “domain name” provider;
  • Regulatory and privacy work for a Web3-based social graph platform;
  • Various legal matters in connection with decentralized file storage;
  • Regulatory and transaction matters relating to a token leasing project;
  • Regulatory and transactional work for a digital asset investment management firm;
  • Various regulatory, corporate and structuring matters for crypto mining companies;
  • Capital raises for digital asset exchanges;
  • Formation of cryptocurrency funds;
  • Taxation issues related to the treatment of digital assets;
  • A global financial institution on the establishment of a cryptocurrency custody business;
  • Various clients on engagements with the New York Department of Financial Services on Bitlicense matters; and
  • Various clients on money transmitter regulatory issues.

Our internationally recognized Litigation Group has counseled on some of the largest and most consequential Web3 and digital asset-related litigation, including:

  • Coinbase in a class action alleging nearly 80 digital assets traded on the platform constitute “securities,” thereby asserting that the company violated U.S. securities laws for failing to register as a “securities exchange” or “broker dealer”;
  • Yuga Labs and numerous individuals in defending a securities class action asserting various claims under federal and state law;
  • Maker Ecosystem Growth Foundation and Maker Ecosystem Growth Holdings in class action litigation and related arbitration proceedings relating to the MakerDAO system;
  • a crypto/Web3 investment fund in multiple securities litigations involving various DeFi protocols and digital tokens;
  • a high-profile SEC enforcement action and related arbitration proceedings involving a company’s digital asset-related technologies;
  • an individual in SEC investigatory and enforcement litigation proceedings; and - numerous crypto-native and other companies in connection with blockchain and digital asset-related litigation matters.