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Image: Kristofer Readling

Kristofer Readling

Of Counsel, Corporate Department

Overview

Kristofer Readling is Of Counsel in the Global Fintech & Payments practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Washington, DC office. His practice focuses on advising fintech startups and established financial institutions, including broker-dealers, futures commission merchants, trust companies, and asset managers on issues involving financial technology such as blockchains and blockchain-based protocols, turnkey asset management programs, roboadvisers, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Mr. Readling has extensive experience representing clients before state and federal regulators, including the SEC, CFTC, OFAC, and NYDFS.

Prior to joining Paul Hastings, Mr. Readling was a Senior Counsel in Coinbase’s Regulatory and Institutional Legal teams. There, he advised Coinbase’s retail and institutional businesses on a variety of regulatory and enforcement matters involving the application of the federal securities and commodities laws, as well as New York Banking Law, to novel digital asset and decentralized financial products, including in a general counsel capacity to Coinbase Asset Management and Coinbase Custody.

Mr. Readling previously served as a Special Counsel in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s Division of Trading and Markets where he advised SEC and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) staff on broker-dealer issues related to sales practices, broker-dealer status, anti-money laundering, economic sanctions, recordkeeping, and supervisory systems, among others. He also previously served in the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) where he led large, complex enforcement investigations into international transactions for potential violations of economic sanctions laws.

At a prior global law firm, Mr. Readling advised global financial institutions and fintech firms on a range of issues, including helping to register the first fund under the Investment Company Act of 1940 to offer its shares as digital asset securities.

Recognitions

  • U.S. Treasury Department, Top Team Award, Russia Team (2018)

Education

  • University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D. 2014
  • Johns Hopkins University, M.S. 2017
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro, B.A. (cum laude) 2011

Representations

  • Assisting with the registration of the first fund to offer its shares as digital asset securities under the Investment Company Act of 1940
  • Advising on the structure and offering of a digital asset lending product
  • Drafting and submitting material change applications to NYDFS on behalf of BitLicensees and trust companies engaged in virtual currency business activity
  • Advising on the potential status of various products as broker-dealers, futures commission merchants, and investment advisers, among others
  • Assisting digital asset intermediaries in diligence and regulatory reviews of digital assets
  • Drafting comment letters on federal rule proposals and revising draft legislation
  • Representing clients before state and federal agencies to seek licenses, exemptions, permissions, and approvals for novel financial technology products

Engagement & Publications

  • The SEC Alleges Software Provider to be a Broker and Underwriter in Continued Crackdown on the Crypto Industry (2024)

Practice Areas

Financial Services

Securities and Capital Markets

Fintech and Payments

Investment Management

Derivatives

SEC Enforcement Defense and Regulatory Counseling


Languages

English


Admissions

District of Columbia Bar

Virginia Bar


Education

Johns Hopkins University, M.S. 2017

University of North Carolina, School of Law, J.D. 2014

University of North Carolina at Greensboro, B.A. 2011


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