Stratis Advisory in the Press


How Sony’s New Show ‘Startup’ Gets Bitcoin Right

September 7, 2016 Startup gets it tech cred in part because the producers retained a fin-tech consultant, Brian Stoeckert, who provided advice about the world of bitcoin as well as issues like money laundering and off-shore accounts. In an interview, Stoeckert said the writers and cast were brand new to bitcoin but soon came to understand it. READ MORE>


New Streaming Show ‘StartUp’ Rides Bitcoin, FinTech Crazes

The 10-episode drama will debut on Sony Pictures’ streaming platform Crackle, and centers around three strangers who find themselves enmeshed in a digital currency scheme (hello, bitcoin!) while fighting the FBI. “StartUp,” which includes actors Martin Freeman and Adam Brody, has already released its first episode for viewers to watch on Reddit.

Brian Stoeckert, of Stratis Advisory and a risk management and money laundering expert, served as a consultant to the show in an effort to inject the narrative with accuracy. He explained to CNBC in a recent interview that the idea of a cryptocurrency is still relatively unknown to the broader public. READ MORE>

Crackle’s New Show ‘StartUp’: Buzzwords Between Bed Sheets

August 30, 2016 “When we look at a lot of cryptocurrency environments—and so much of it is negative based—people don’t understand anything beyond the headline aspect it,” Brian Stoeckert, a partner at Stratis Advisory, which advises fintech firms, and consultant to the show, told the Observer in a phone call. “I think this will help people understand how digital payments and digital money will have an impact.” READ MORE>


From ‘Mr. Robot’ to ‘Silicon Valley’: Tech Comes of Age on TV

August 17, 2016 One show that takes some creative liberties with technology as it exists today is “StartUp,” which hits Sony’s Crackle next month. The drama is about a fictional crypto-currency called GenCoin, created by a Miami coding savant, which supposedly succeeds where the real-world BitCoin failed by incorporating self-governing artificial intelligence to be impervious to tampering and fraud.

“It’s 100% in the realm of possibility,” insists showrunner Ben Ketai, the show’s creator, writer, director and exec producer, who vetted the concept with digital-currency experts. But he acknowledges there’s a “level of dreaming” with “StartUp” because no one has made anything like GenCoin yet. “If I could have created this,” he quips, “I wouldn’t be making TV shows.” READ MORE>


‘Culture Gap’ Challenges Banks Seeking AML FinTech Expertise; ‘SWAT Teams May Help’

April 4, 2016 There is much work to be done to bridge a cultural and informational divide between the fintech and traditional banking sectors, experts said. Among the ideas for engaging a new generation: “SWAT teams,” where technical units can operate with fewer bureaucratic constraints….

But in the end, bank compliance units, and even bank regulators, will have to find ways to make positions more palatable to tech experts if they hope to keep up as the financial services market “continues to innovate right through and around the traditional financial institutions,” Stoeckert said.  READ MORE>


Lifting the Veil on Bitcoin Transactions: New Tools in the Pipeline for Banks

February 26, 2016 The goal is to provide high-tech risk management and transaction monitoring tools capable of bridging the divide between banks and the realm of digital currency, but much work remains to be done, say sources familiar with the matter. The effort has drawn the involvement of at least one major bank, Barclays. “Traditional transaction-monitoring is a very costly and inefficient exercise, so some banks are looking at the financial benefits of taking this new approach…” Brian Stoeckert, managing partner at Stratis Advisory. READ MORE>


“Runnin’ Down a Dream”*

August 27, 2015 Other issues covered included AML officers offering strategies on how to ensure broad awareness and training on cyber-related issues; a discussion pre-program on hiring challenges given the three generations (boomers, Gen X’ers, and millennials) of potential AML professionals, and how to retain or recruit them; and how these same new entrants into the financial market will shape products and eventually new financial crime vulnerabilities. READ MORE>


The Morning Risk Report: Virtual Currency Firms Struggle With AML

May 7, 2015  A sizable investment from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is the latest sign virtual currency firms are gaining mainstream popularity. At the same time, some of these firms continue to struggle to get compliance right.

Some of the compliance slip-ups Fincen cited in the settlement are not uncommon among firms in the virtual currency sector, said Brian Stoeckert, managing partner of Stratis Advisory, which advises financial technology and virtual currency firms on anti-money laundering compliance.  READ MORE>


New Jersey State Legislature to Hold Bitcoin Hearing

February 5, 2015  The New Jersey State Legislature is holding a public hearing on bitcoin and digital currency today.

The Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee has invited select guests to testify to the applications, consumer protection risks and concerns, advantages and current US regulatory schemes related to digital currency use…The committee oversees money transmission regulators and those with potential jurisdiction over digital currencies, some of which are expected to attend the hearing.  READ MORE>


New York Charters Virtual Currency Firm Ahead of Expected AML Rules

May 7, 2015  New York gave a Bitcoin company the green light to operate under state regulations Thursday, in what may be the first in a series of charters intended to mitigate concerns about virtual currencies.

itBit’s relatively unique business strategy is designed to attract large, institutional clients rather than to process remittances for individual customers like a typical virtual currency exchange, said Stoeckert. READ MORE>


In FinCEN’s Ripple Fine, Some See Swell to Come

May 6, 2015  Under a Bank Secrecy Act rule that took effect in 1996, financial institutions must include data in interbank messages on the originators and beneficiaries of payments valued at $3,000 or more.

As with Bitcoin, Ripple’s protocol doesn’t necessarily allow transactions to include such information, said Stoeckert. As a consequence of Tuesday’s fine, some virtual currency exchanges may choose to permit only transactions that fall below the $3,000 threshold, he said.  READ MORE>


Policy Experts Talk Transparency in Bitcoin at Foreign Affairs Event

February 16, 2015  Emerging digital currency protocols have enormous potential to transform payments as we know them today. And with more time and more clarity, industry insiders believe that promise can manifest in digital banking and digital identities.

This was the subject of a day-long meeting hosted by US-based journal Foreign Affairs at the Council on Foreign Relations townhouse in New York on Thursday, during which three expert panels spoke in front of an assembly of bank and tech experts and enthusiasts…

Gaining access to the banking system is also a major concern for emerging digital currency companies and startups. These regulatory variations – at the state level and the level of the traditional financial system – present the next level of friction in the ecosystem, according to Brian Stoeckert, managing director of digital currency consulting firm CoinComply.  READ MORE


Bitcoin Panel Seeks New Take on Regulation at New Jersey Hearing

February 6, 2015  A group of nine business owners and legal experts pitched a panel of New Jersey legislators this week on why they should make the Garden State a hub for bitcoin development.

The 5th February hearing was hosted by the New Jersey Legislature’s Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee…Speakers at the event included New York Law School professor and Coin Center fellow Houman Shadab, CoinComply managing director Brian Stoeckert, Ziftr CEO Robert Wilkins and Coinware general counsel Quentin Page.  READ MORE>


Why Bitcoin Needs Lawyers to Bridge the Technology Gap

December 14, 2014  While bitcoin might want to play outside the framework of the traditional financial system, it may be inevitable that the two interact if bitcoin is going to become more legitimate and more widely used.

Brian Stoeckert, managing director of digital currency consulting firm CoinComply, said: “You have all these companies that are struggling to gain access to the traditional financial system in order to get their businesses on the ground, into market, gathering customers and surviving like any other business.” READ MORE>


Stony Brook Announces 40 Under Forty Class of 2014

November 14, 2014 Stony Brook University has announced the recipients of its inaugural 40 Under Forty alumni achievement awards.  Selected from a large nominee pool of Stony Brook graduates, the honorees include groundbreaking researchers, innovators and leaders in social media and highly accomplished professional athletes, including Brian Stoeckert ’98, CoinComply Inc.  READ MORE >

Payments Veterans Discuss Bitcoin vs Apple Pay at NY Law Conference

October 23, 2014  CoinComply managing director Brian Stoeckert reiterated the importance of acquainting the general public with mobile payments, as well. In his remarks, he emphasized that younger consumers will be the most likely target for both bitcoin and Apple Pay, as this demographic is general quicker to adopt digital technology.

Stoeckert said that, at some point, bitcoin could even power products like Apple Pay, but that for now, Apple’s product will do a lot to further the adoption of mobile payments.  READ MORE>

Apple’s Mobile Buzz Impacts Bitcoin, but Regs Still Unclear

October 22, 2014  “There’s a lot more advocacy on the financial institution side to learn more about Bitcoin,” said Brian Stoeckert, chief strategy officer at CoinComply, a digital currency consultancy. “Banks are thinking about Bitcoin…as can they be market leaders in attracting these types of companies.”  READ MORE>

NY Law Panel: Bitcoin Won’t Get Banking Without Compliance

October 22, 2014  “Initially the market first came out with guidance that certain types of digital currency companies needed to be regulated as money services businesses (MSBs),” Stoeckert explained. “The original focus was registering as a MSB, the next focus was on establishing policies and procedures, then the next great focus was know-your-customer (KYC).”  READ MORE>

9 gems of wisdom about the future of bitcoin law

October 21, 2014  Earlier today a group of influential bitcoin entrepreneurs and lawyers gathered for the first ever Bitcoin Law Conference held at the New York Law School in downtown Manhattan.  READ MORE >

New York Lawyers-Up On Bitlicense

October 17, 2014  On Tuesday, October 21 — the deadline for comments regarding New York State’s BitLicense proposal — the industry will lawyer-up. On that very day, the New York Law School will present “Bitcoin Law: Regulations and Transactions,” a half-day conference from 8:45 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. on “the Internet of money.”  Speakers include:  …Brian Stoeckert, managing director of CoinComply… READ MORE >

BitBeat: Blockchain Ideas Get Play at IMF Panel

October 16, 2014  The New York Law School is hosting a panel on bitcoin, law, and regulations next week at its lower Manhattan campus…Called “Bitcoin Law: Regulations and Transactions,” it will bring together legal, financial, and technical experts to discuss how the lawless bitcoin meshes with the lawful world…Panelists include …Brian Stoeckert, managing director at CoinComply…READ MORE >

After New York, Digital Currency Companies Wait for Chorus or Cacophony from Other States

August 7, 2014 But with most states yet to weigh in on digital currency protocols that inherently entail interstate and international transactions, “there is definitely a yearning from the industry to get some clarity,” said Brian Stoeckert, managing director of CoinComply, a digital currency compliance provider. As the industry develops, “there is a lot more momentum for mass adoption,” he said. “[Regulatory] growth is somewhat inevitable.” READ MORE >

FinCEN Proposes Rules to Curb Anonymous Shell Companies

August 6, 2014 But the increased reporting obligations could be daunting for already overburdened compliance professionals. “The proposed rule change seeks to codify minimum standards,” Brian Stoeckert, an anti-money laundering expert and managing director of New York-based CoinComply, just told Anti-Corruption. READ MORE >

Growing E-Money Market Raises Risks Along with Opportunities, Say Experts

May 30, 2014 The e-money market is fast-growing in the U.K., according to a July 2013 report by the FCA. Of the 53 firms included in the British government’s e-money Financial Services Register, 43 percent received approval in 2013, the agency said.  More is needed to assure users of another form of electronic payment: digital currency, according to Brian Stoeckert. READ MORE >

Bitcoin Expert to Present At Financial Seminar

April 24, 2014 Virtual currencies expert Brian Stoeckert [pictured], JD, CAMS, CFE, will address attendees at this year’s Financial Crime & Compliance Seminar and will walk them through the “C” change for virtual currencies, understand the nuances of Bitcoin, how Bitcoin companies operate, and address the associated risks. READ MORE >

Risk, Compliance Top Concerns for Bitcoin Startups

April 8, 2014 “Virtual currency is no longer unregulated,” said Brian Stoeckert, chief strategy officer for New York-based CoinComply. “There is a lot more guidance today there previously was.” READ MORE >

Game Over: How Libertarians Lost the Battle for Bitcoin’s Soul

March 26, 2014 When one budding Bitcoin entrepreneur said he was planning on fighting government attempts to regulate his business under money transmitter laws, BitAngels cofounder David Johnson recommended partnering with an established institution to handle all of the financial back end, along with its attendant regulatory heavy lifting, while exclusively focusing on directly interfacing with customers. Johnson also pointed to CoinComply, a company that helps Bitcoin startups deal with anti-money laundering rules, as an excellent resource for young organizations. READ MORE >

NHK Morning News re Failure of Mt. Gox

March 1, 2014 CoinComply’s Brian Stoeckert discusses the impact on the bankruptcy of Mt. Gox with NHK Japan Broadcasting Corp and featured on the morning news report. READ MORE >

Community Debates What’s Next After New York Hearings

January 31, 2014 The dust has settled from the virtual currency hearings in New York City this week. We saw a mixture of speakers, including law enforcement agents warning of digital currencies’ many potential dangers, VCs getting hot under the collar over the regulation debate, regulators musing about whether they should license miners or not, and one vehemently anti-bitcoin academic. READ MORE >

Two Bitcoin Operators Including Industry Advocate Charged in Money-Laundering Scheme in U.S.

January 24, 2014 Two men who operate bitcoin exchange businesses, including an official in the leading industry bitcoin trade group, have been charged with money laundering for helping drug merchants exchange $1 million in cash for the digital currency, U.S. prosecutors said on Monday. The case, and related comments made by a top federal prosecutor, make clear that the Justice Department plans to ensure bitcoin exchanges meet their obligations to police transactions for money laundering activity, experts said. READ MORE >

Why Bitcoin Needs Banks

December 12, 2013 On a mission to convince the world that Bitcoin is enduring and serious, enthusiasts convened at a place that symbolizes the ephemeral and the glitzy: Las Vegas. At the Inside Bitcoins conference on Dec. 10 and 11—sponsored by BubbleCoin, BitDeliver, CoinComply. READ MORE >

“All Things Must Pass”

December 6, 2013 The best news for us AML veterans? There were many new and certainly younger experts sharing their knowledge with the audience. And that is a clear and positive sign for the “good guys.” Virtual currency compliance expert Brian Stoeckert outlined for the audience what comprises a virtual or “decentralized” currency. READ MORE >

Bon Voyage, Bitcoin: Digital Currency Companies Leave the U.S.

December 2, 2013 After clashing with regulators and being blacklisted by many banks and credit unions, many emerging-payments companies are seeking a warmer welcome outside the U.S. READ MORE >

Bitcoin Fans Celebrate After U.S. Senate Hearing; Bankers Stay Wary

November 22, 2013 Only Brian Stoeckert, principal and chief strategy officer of CoinComply, offered a favorable view of the technology in a presentation that outlined the growth of the market and the various companies currently driving it. Stoeckert, who spoke at the conference as the Senate hearing was underway, noted that each time a government agency has acted to regulate Bitcoin, the value of the currency has risen. READ MORE >

Barclays Somalia Remittance Move Part of Broader Crackdown

October 2, 2013 In order for a MSB to convince a bank that it is a suitable customer, it typically has to build a strong Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering program and tout it to the bank, though that is not always enough to land an account or keep one open, said Brian Stoeckert, chief strategy officer at CoinComply, a firm that helps virtual currency firms, which are considered MSBs, build BSA/AML compliance programs. READ MORE >

New Breed of Online Businesses Face Unique Transaction Risks

September 9, 2013 “The particular challenges a lot of these companies are facing happens to be what are the regulations, how do they actually get bank accounts, and what do they actually have to do to stay in business from a risk mitigation perspective,”  says Brian Stoeckert, ‎chief strategy officer at CoinComply. READ MORE >

Regulatory Interest a Growing Source of Division Among Bitcoin Enthusiasts

September 4, 2013 To avoid regulatory trouble, some Bitcoin firms have also started employing IP blockers in order to avoid customers residing in certain U.S. states, said Brian Stoeckert, founder of Coin Comply, a consultancy that designs AML programs for digital currencies. READ MORE >

CoinMKT Altcurrency Exchange to Launch Public Beta Next Week

August 29, 2013 “Internally we are calling it ‘pre-compliance’.” We enquired with him where the company is at now, in the run up to its public beta. He told us, “We’ve been working with a company called CoinComply to get all of our regulatory ducks in order. READ MORE >

BSA/AML System Built for Virtual Currency Exchanges

August 2, 2013 Anti-money laundering industry veteran Brian Stoeckert says he’s developed a solution. For a fee, his new venture CoinComply will handle a big chunk of Bank Secrecy Act compliance for virtual-currency exchanges, for whom the product is specifically tailored. READ MORE >