Robert A. Musiala Jr.

He | Him | His

Counsel

Chicago
T +1.312.416.8192
F +1.312.416.6201

Overview

Robert Musiala has been working in the blockchain and cryptocurrency market since 2012, including working with a U.S. national security community client, advising on compliance with various regulatory regimes and serving as the court appointed receiver to investigate and secure assets related to a cryptocurrency fraud scheme. The inventor of a granted blockchain patent and another pending patent, he works directly with tech teams to build solutions that are compliant by design. Robert is co-leader of the Blockchain Practice at BakerHostetler.

Robert’s practice includes advising blockchain industry clients on the application of the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and regulations issued by the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Robert also counsels clients that have previously completed “initial coin offering” events on strategies for mitigating personal and business risk, limiting business disruption and achieving regulatory compliance. His experience also includes assisting clients with blockchain-based alternative trading system (ATS) applications, advising blockchain technology firms on strategies for achieving compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and counseling businesses that are working with blockchain enterprise consortia.  

Prior to joining BakerHostetler, Robert was a founding member of the blockchain practice at a “Big Four” accounting firm and one of the largest professional services firms in the world, where he was introduced to blockchain through his work as an intelligence analyst and financial crimes investigator. His achievements in threat finance include managing a team of investigators to collect intelligence and produce a threat/counter-threat analysis on cryptocurrency and blockchain for a U.S. national security community client. An innovative thought leader, Robert is the inventor of a patent-pending blockchain micropayments system. He is also the co-inventor and primary concept developer of a patent-pending system that leverages blockchain technology to promote transparency, speed and security and mitigate economic crime in funds governance and aid distribution programs.

Select Experience

  • Drafted complex BSA compliance analysis for blockchain industry client that involved several issues of first impression related to cryptocurrencies, smart contracts and money transmission.
  • Drafted U.S. alternative trading system (ATS) application for broker-dealer/ATS platform underpinned by a private/permissioned blockchain.
  • Drafted GDPR compliance analysis for major blockchain self-sovereign identity solution provider and designed “reg-tech” system architecture analysis.
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Experience

  • Drafted complex BSA compliance analysis for blockchain industry client that involved several issues of first impression related to cryptocurrencies, smart contracts and money transmission.
  • Drafted U.S. alternative trading system (ATS) application for broker-dealer/ATS platform underpinned by a private/permissioned blockchain.
  • Drafted GDPR compliance analysis for major blockchain self-sovereign identity solution provider and designed “reg-tech” system architecture analysis.
  • Advised ‘initial coin offering” issuer in responding to SEC subpoena and investigation.
  • Advises blockchain industry clients on regulatory compliance in connection with funding mechanisms, including seed/angel funding, Regulation CF crowdfunding, Regulation A+ limited public offerings and Regulation D accredited investor funding.
  • Advises blockchain industry clients in connection with systems architecture and off-chain storage to comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation.
  • Drafted and negotiated agreements with various types of technology vendors on behalf of blockchain industry clients.
  • Advised general counsels at major U.S. firms on contract negotiations involving blockchain industry consortia related to food supply chain, advertising impression data, and data security/encryption standards.
  • Managed team to produce 50-state analysis of U.S. money transmitter licensing regimes to facilitate strategic planning for cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Attendee since 2016 of annual summit held in conjunction with the United Nations and dedicated to improving lives through digital identity.
  • Serves on global policy council of major blockchain based self-sovereign identity solution provider.
  • Managed team to produce threat/counter-threat analysis on blockchain for U.S. national security community client; prepared and presented case studies and other trainings to various U.S. intelligence agencies.
  • Managed team of anti-money laundering (AML) investigators on 15-month AML lookback, performed under consent order at major U.S. financial institution; acted as case investigator on 5-month AML lookback, performed under consent order at major U.S. financial institution.
  • Managed team of intelligence analysts to produce analysis on global trade-based money laundering threat environment for U.S. intelligence community client.
  • Primary drafter of over 30 policies, procedures and training materials to re-design comprehensive governance, risk and compliance program for a major global pharmaceutical company.
  • Inventor, author and primary concept developer of patent pending blockchain-based system to improve transparency and mitigate fraud in funds governance, procurement and aid distribution programs.
  • Inventor of patent pending blockchain micropayments solution.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Certified Financial Crimes Specialist (CFCS)
  • JD Supra Readers' Choice Awards: Top 10 Author in Finance & Banking (2020)

Memberships

  • Evans Scholars Par Club
  • Chicago Bar Association, Emerging Technologies Committee

Blog Posts

Prior Positions

  • PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services, LLC: Manager of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, Financial Crimes Unit, Global Intelligence, Forensics Investigations, and more (2011 to 2017)

Admissions

  • Illinois

Education

  • M.S.A., University of Illinois at Chicago Liautaud Graduate School of Business, 2011
  • J.D., Notre Dame Law School, 2003
  • B.A., Creative Writing (with honors) and International Studies, Northwestern University, 2000; Chick Evans Scholar

Blog

In The Blogs

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Blockchain Monitor
NFT Initiatives Launch Across Markets; US Banking Regulators Address Crypto; DOJ and Congress Target Crypto Fraud; FBI Cites Risks as DeFi Hacks Continue
By Christina O. Gotsis, Robert A. Musiala Jr., Jordan R. Silversmith, Joanna F. Wasick
September 9, 2022
In this issue: • NFT Initiatives Launch in Ticket Sales, Social Media and College Football• US Banking Regulators Publish DeFi Analysis, Address Crypto in Speeches• DOJ Targets Crypto Fraud, House Subcommittee Addresses Consumer Risks• FBI...
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Blockchain Monitor
SEC Chair Stands Firm: ‘Vast Majority' of Cryptocurrency Tokens Are Securities
By Kevin R. Edgar, Jonathan A. Forman, Teresa Goody Guillén, Robert A. Musiala Jr., Veronica Reynolds, Michelle N. Tanney, Joanna F. Wasick
September 9, 2022
In prepared remarks delivered at the Practising Law Institute’s “SEC Speaks” program on Sept. 8, Chair Gensler emphasized and reiterated his long-standing position that the vast majority of cryptocurrency tokens are securities, and he...
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Blockchain Monitor
Combatting Fraud and Corruption in the NFT Market
By Christina O. Gotsis, Robert A. Musiala Jr., Jordan R. Silversmith, George A. Stamboulidis
August 30, 2022
On Oct. 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the creation of a National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team to tackle investigations and prosecutions of criminal misuses of cryptocurrency. As the non-fungible token (NFT)...
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Blockchain Monitor
NFT Market Research Published; Crypto Issues Addressed by FDIC, US Representatives and Foreign Regulators; DOJ Targets Crypto Fraud Scheme
By Lauren Bass, Robert A. Musiala Jr., Jordan R. Silversmith
August 26, 2022
In this issue: • Fashion Brands Score with NFTs, but Market Trends Show Threats Abound• FDIC and Congress Members Address Crypto Representations, Sanctions, Mining• Foreign Regulators Issue Crypto Guidance, Act Against Unregistered VASPs•...
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Blockchain Monitor
NFT Endorsements Scrutinized; Bank Crypto Guidance Issued; DOJ, CFTC and SEC Bring Crypto Enforcement Actions; Research Finds Crypto Insider Trading
By Lauren Bass, Keith R. Murphy, Robert A. Musiala Jr., Jordan R. Silversmith, Kayley B. Sullivan
August 19, 2022
In this issue: NFTs Expand on Social Media, Celebrity NFT Endorsements Scrutinized Federal Reserve Addresses Crypto; Senator Inquires About Bank-Crypto Relations DOJ, CFTC and SEC Crypto Enforcement Targets Tax Evasion, Fraud and ICOs US...
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