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Many blockchain companies are using a largely unregulated means of raising funds, commonly known as an initial coin offering (ICO).[1]  An ICO consists of the issuance of a newly generated cryptocurrency (generally referred to as a token) that runs on blockchain technology, in exchange for fiat currency (such as U.S. dollars) or other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or ethereum. Broadly, tokens can either be classified as “utility tokens,” which provide users with access to the blockchain platform developed by the issuer or products or services provided by the issuer, or “security tokens,” which represent certain rights with respect to an entity, either as equity or debt.[2]  This GT Alert discusses the potential tax implications of the so-called utility tokens.

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Photo of Pallav Raghuvanshi Pallav Raghuvanshi

Pallav Raghuvanshi focuses his practice on U.S. and international tax matters in the context of corporate restructurings and cross-border mergers and acquisitions. He is experienced handling spin-off transactions for large multinational companies, various inbound and outbound transactions involving issues related to foreign tax…

Pallav Raghuvanshi focuses his practice on U.S. and international tax matters in the context of corporate restructurings and cross-border mergers and acquisitions. He is experienced handling spin-off transactions for large multinational companies, various inbound and outbound transactions involving issues related to foreign tax credits, tax treaties, controlled foreign corporations, and other international reorganization issues. He also handles U.S. federal tax aspects of initial coin offering / first token sales and other tax-related issues on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

Photo of Marvin A. Kirsner Marvin A. Kirsner

Marvin A. Kirsner is a shareholder in the Fort Lauderdale office where his primary areas of practice deal with corporate, transactional and industry specific tax issues. He serves as the Co-Chair of the State and Local Tax (SALT) Practice.

Photo of Glenn Newman Glenn Newman

Glenn is a shareholder at the law firm of Greenberg Traurig LLP in New York City where he handles tax planning and controversy matters involving state and local taxes including personal income tax, corporate tax, sales tax and real property transfer taxes as

Glenn is a shareholder at the law firm of Greenberg Traurig LLP in New York City where he handles tax planning and controversy matters involving state and local taxes including personal income tax, corporate tax, sales tax and real property transfer taxes as well as real estate tax and incentive programs.

Glenn’s practice includes handling audits and litigation involving income tax including residency matters, sales and use tax, hotel taxes and real estate transfer taxes in New York and other states.

Prior to re-entering private practice, Glenn was the president of the New York City Tax Commission and the NYC Tax Appeals Tribunal, the agencies that hear and determine disputes of New York City property and business income and excise taxes.

Before his nomination and confirmation to the Tax Commission, Glenn was in private practice. Previously, he was Deputy Commissioner for Audit & Enforcement at the New York City Department of Finance where he was responsible for developing policy and for the audit process. Before moving to the Finance Department, Glenn was chief of the Tax and Bankruptcy Division in the Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York where he drafted legislation and regulations and litigated matters involving both New York City and State taxes in administrative proceedings and in the courts. He also handled scores of cases involving City taxes in federal courts including the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts.

Glenn was chair of the State and Local Tax Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (1999-2001). He wrote a regular column on New York tax appeals for the New York Law Journal (1996-2002) and is a co-author of the New York Sales Tax Portfolio published by the Bureau of National Affairs. He is active in the State & Local Tax Committee of the American Bar Association as well as the New York State and New York City Bar Associations state and local tax committees; he is also on the Board of the Real Estate Tax Review Bar Association in New York City.

He was honored as a recipient of the “Tax Judge of the Year” in 2007 awarded by the National Conference of State Tax Judges of which he was later the Chair.

Glenn received his J.D degree from Fordham Law School and undergraduate degree from SUNY Albany.