Initial Coin Offering and Knowing Your Customer: A symposium

Thursday, November 1st, 2018
1:00 PM - 6:00 PM

CWRU Law Financial Integrity Institute, the ACAMS Northern Ohio Chapter and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University

CLE Credit Unavailable

Webcast Archive Content

Event Description

Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is defined as an unregulated means by which funds are raised for a new cryptocurrency venture. ICOs are recognized as innovative, yet disruptive instruments in the digital era simply because these fund-raising operatives are not regulated by any financial authorities such as the SEC and/or any regulatory body. ICO is used by startups to bypass the rigorous and regulated capital-raising process required by venture capitalists or banks. In an ICO campaign, a percentage of the cryptocurrency is sold to early backers of the project in exchange for legal tender or other cryptocurrencies. Identity of the backers often remains unknown.

The rapidICO surge in 2017 incurred regulations from a series of governmental and nongovernmental entities. In early September, 2017, the People's Bank of China officially banned ICOs, citing it as disruptive to economic and financial stability. In the United States and many other countries, regulators have said some coins should be categorized as securities, like stocks and bonds. If a coin is categorized as a security, it has to follow all relevant securities law, such as registering with the authorities and ensuring that people buying the coins are properly accredited and vetted. Suffice to say, essentially no coin offerings have followed these rules.

There is little or no possibility of tracing transactions in cryptocurrencies, including tokens in an ICO, to natural persons due to their decentralized and anonymous nature. In addition, large amounts of money can be raised through ICOs in a short period of time. This makes ICOs an attractive vehicle for laundering criminal money. Services relating to ICOs or cryptocurrencies by financial institutions can therefore quickly create a serious conflict with the statutory requirements for the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing. So, what for KYCs to do?

Distinguished panel of recognized experts will present, share, debate and discuss the latest trends, news, developments and prognoses of sailing in the turbulent waters of yet unregulated ICOs, where identities are masked and ultimate intents are suspicious at best.


Time Topic

12:30 pm – 1:15 pm

1:15 pm – 1:30 pm Welcome

1:30 pm – 2:15 pm

1st Panel: Regulating the World of Cryptocurrency

William Casey King, PhD, Director, Capstone Program, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University

Pawneet Abramowski, Principal, PARC Solutions LLC

2:15 pm – 3:00 pm

2nd Panel: ICOs, cryptocurrency and regulatory compliance

Bill Cloninger, CAMS, KeyBank AML Investigations

William J. Voorhees, MFA, C.F.E., CAMS, Senior Vice President, BSA/AML Financial Intelligence Unit Manager, BB&T

3:00 pm – 3:45 pm 3rd Panel: Cryptocurrency related criminal investigations

FBI and IRS CI representatives

3:45 pm – 5:00 pm 4th Panel: Doing business in the cryptocurrency world

Zachary Robock, Esq., Bordson Corp.

Pamela Calaquian, Deloitte

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Open Discussion 
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Reception


Event Location

Moot Courtroom (A59)
11075 East Blvd.
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

This lecture

Online registration available or register at the door

For more information

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