Former NYDFS Counsel Joins Perkins Coie Blockchain Practice

Perkins Coie has hired a former NYDFS counsel who worked on the state's BitLicense regulatory framework.

AccessTimeIconOct 21, 2016 at 1:48 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:34 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

A former attorney for the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) involved with the development of the state’s BitLicense regulatory regime has been hired by international law firm Perkins Coie.

Dana Syracuse, who joined the firm last week, is now senior counsel for Perkins Coie’s Technology Transactions and Privacy practice, based in New York. There, according to the firm, he will help spearhead its work in the blockchain and digital currency space.

Syracuse will be working on both legal issues related to blockchain as well broader fintech, describing it to CoinDesk as an even split in the near-term. However, he indicated that as blockchain applications gain traction in the finance space, this balance could shift – particularly as both Wall Street incumbents and regulators begin to grapple more directly with questions related to the technology.

He said in an email:

“This will require wrestling with some very tough questions about the applicability of old laws to the movement of value and data in new ways, and whether new laws are needed – particularly in the areas of identity and anti-money laundering. Answering these questions will require a deep understanding of the technology and the law.”

Syracuse played a role in the creation of the BitLicense, a framework that New York financial regulators began crafting more than two years ago. He departed the agency last year.

The NYDFS released its final version in June 2015, and to date has only granted a few BitLicenses to startups like Circle and Ripple. When released, the BitLicense drew criticism from some quarters of the digital currency and blockchain space, prompting several companies to cease operating in the state.

Before joining Perkins Coie, Syracuse had joined law firm BuckleySandler LLP as a counsel for its New York offices. There, according to press materials published at the time, he worked on cybersecurity and digital currency issues. Prior to his work at the NYDFS, Syracuse served as assistant attorney general for New York, working for its Taxpayer Protection Bureau.

Image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.