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Dana Syracuse

Senior Counsel, Perkins Coie

Dana Syracuse concentrates his practice in the blockchain, fintech, e-commerce and financial services sectors, working with clients on regulatory, business and product counseling, cyber and data security and enforcement concerns. Dana is the former associate general counsel for the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and a leading figure in the development of the country’s first comprehensive digital currency regulation. He works with a range of fintech and digital business clients on federal and state regulatory, compliance and enforcement matters, complex bank regulatory issues, including, privacy, data and cyber security, anti-money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act and Know-Your-Customer matters, consumer protection as well as contract drafting and negotiations. Dana frequently interacts with lawmakers at the state and federal level on many of these issues, including testifying before the United States House of Representatives on the future of virtual currency and blockchain regulation, training state bank examiners on blockchain related compliance issues through the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and participating in the Uniform Law Commission’s efforts to draft a model legal code for virtual currencies.

While at the NYDFS, Dana helped oversee the Department’s strategy regarding emerging payment systems, virtual currency and blockchain technology, the drafting of New York State’s BitLicense virtual currency regulation and the chartering of New York state based virtual currency exchanges. He also worked extensively with other states, through organizations such as the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, on the development of state and federal regulations and standards governing cybersecurity, money transmitters, emerging payment systems and virtual currency market participants. Dana helped develop the NYDFS strategy for the review of the cyber security standards of its regulated institutions, oversaw the revamp of the NYDFS cyber security examination process, helped implement targeted risk assessments of its regulated institutions’ cyber preparedness and took steps to assess the cyber security risks presented to the banking and insurance industries and those posed by third-party vendors. Prior to serving with NYDFS, Dana was an assistant attorney general in the Taxpayer Protection Bureau of the Office of the New York State Attorney General. He has worked in private practice as a litigator as well as having directed his own consultancy for financial institutions, emerging payment providers, technology companies and law firms. He advised on implement services, banking and insurance regulations, money transmission, emerging payment systems, virtual currency regulation and cybersecurity practices of regulated industries.


Dana is a frequent media commentator, speaker and author on virtual and crypto currencies, money laundering, financial services regulations, data security privacy and the balance between innovation and regulation in the financial sector.