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Portland Law Firm Represents Party in Recent Bitcoin Settlement
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Angeli Ungar represented a defendant in a recent case involving the SEC.

Summary: A Portland law firm represented Ethan Burnside, who recently settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission for his involvement with a trading website.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has been carefully monitoring bitcoin activity, and on Monday, it announced a settlement with BTC Trading Corp, which is a company registered in Belize. BizJournals.com reports that BTC Trading Corp operated two websites: LTC-Global Virtual Stock Exchange, which used litecoins, an online cryptocurrency, to conduct business, and BTC Virtual Stock Exchange, which also used online virtual currency.

  
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Here’s an article about the vice president of Bitcoin being involved in a money laundering case.

Ethan Burnside was the brains behind the sites. Burnside is a resident of Southern California, but was previously in Corvallis, where he served as chairman of Kattare Internet Services. Burnside and BTC Trading Corp entered a settlement with the SEC for approximately $68,000. In addition, Burnside has been banned from the securities industry.

Burnside was represented by the Angeli Ungar Law Group, a Portland law firm. Steve Ungar, an attorney with the firm, issued a statement saying, “Both Mr. Burnside and his counsel are pleased to learn that the Securities and Exchange Commission has approved this settlement. From the moment Mr. Burnside learned of the investigation he did everything possible to protect BTC Trading website users and to cooperate fully with the SEC.”

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Here’s another article about a company being investigated for using Bitcoin.

The SEC alleged that Burnside and his company were trading securities without being registered as broker-dealers or stock exchanges. Over 2,600 users created accounts with LTC Global and processed around 60,000 trades, paying 12,081 litecoins in the process. Roughly another 7,900 users opened accounts with the bitcoin exchange and entered over 366,000 trades. These users paid over 2,100 bitcoins on the transactions.



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Andrew Calamari, the director of the SEC’s New York regional office, said, “Burnside operated two online enterprises that weren’t properly registered to engage in the securities business they were conducting. The registration rules are vitally important investor protection provisions, and no exemption applies [simply] because an entity is operating on the Internet or using a virtual currency in securities transactions.”

Many regulators stated that the settlement amount and penalties demonstrate that Burnside was cooperative during the investigation.

In June, the governor of California signed alternative currencies into law.

Ungar added, “Since the SEC investigation began, Bitcoin-based transactions have become increasingly prominent in the mainstream financial, political and regulatory spheres. Developments occur almost daily in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world as it is indeed an emerging technology.”

As the currency gains popularity, it is likely that it will be more closely watched by regulators.

Photo credit: bitcoinexaminer.org



 

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