Robert A. Musiala Jr.

Counsel

Chicago
T +1.312.416.8192
F +1.312.416.6201

Overview

BakerHostetler’s Blockchain Counsel, Robert A. Musiala Jr., is esteemed for his roles in the areas of cryptocurrency anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing, and concept development for blockchain-based solutions. 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)

Memberships

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

News

News

Press Releases

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
Shipping Firms Pilot Blockchain, New Crypto Payment Gateways and Products, Wyoming Announces Crypto Custody Rules
By Robert A. Musiala Jr., Simone O. Otenaike, Joanna F. Wasick
November 15, 2019
In this issue: • Shipping Firms, DHS and Wine Merchants Participate in Blockchain Pilots • Crypto Payment Gateways Announced, Multimillion-Dollar Property Sold for Bitcoin • Developments in Cryptocurrency Custody Providers, Banks and New...
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Blockchain Monitor
Industry Token Standards Published, Supply Chain Pilots Expand, Foreign Crypto Guidance Issued, US Enforcement Actions Continue
By Robert A. Musiala Jr., Jordan R. Silversmith, Joanna F. Wasick
November 8, 2019
In this issue: • Token Taxonomy Framework Published, Blockchain Supply Chain Pilots Expand • Stellar Burns Tokens, New Cryptocurrency Market Data and Studies Released • Blockchain Startup Receives Transfer Agent License, UK and Hong Kong...
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Blockchain Monitor
UNICEF Launches Crypto Fund, Class Action Alleges Price Manipulation, US Enforcement Continues, More Ransomware and Hacks
By Robert A. Musiala Jr., Simone O. Otenaike, Joanna F. Wasick
October 11, 2019
In this issue: • Crypto and Blockchain Capital Markets News From UNICEF, Europe and Hong Kong • Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Payment Applications Introduced Across Jurisdictions • Class-Action Suit Filed Against Bitfinex/Tether, US...
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Blockchain Monitor
Alert: IRS Issues New Guidance and FAQs on Virtual Currencies
By J. Brian Davis, Nicholas C. Mowbray, Robert A. Musiala Jr., Elizabeth Ann Smith
October 10, 2019
On Oct. 9, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued additional guidance regarding the taxation of cryptocurrency. The guidance comes more than five years after the IRS issued Notice 2014-21, the first and, until now, only official...
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Blockchain Monitor
Invoices Paid on Ethereum, FINRA Application Approved, SEC/ICO Enforcement, Industry Launches Compliance Initiative
By Brian P. Bartish, Jonathan D. Blattmachr, Robert A. Musiala Jr.
October 4, 2019
In this issue: • Smart Contracts Deployed by Icelandic Retailer, Blockchain for Sneakers and DHS • Cryptocurrency Service Providers Target Mainstream Investors, FINRA Application Approved • SEC, DOJ and State Agency Enforcement Actions for...
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