Professional Biography

Joseph P. Cutler Partner

Firmwide Chair Fintech Industry Group; Firmwide Lead, Financial Services Compliance, Privacy, and Crime Prevention Vertical

  • Seattle

    D +1.206.359.6104

    F +1.206.359.7104


    1201 Third Avenue, Suite 4900

    Seattle, WA 98101-3099




Joe Cutler helps evaluate the regulatory exposure and compliance paths for emerging distributed ledger technology companies, cryptocurrency exchanges and token-based projects. Joe helps companies navigate the regulatory thickets surrounding token sales, digital and self-sovereign identity, IoT/AI/blockchain convergence and the business of blockchain.

As co-founding member of the firm’s Fintech and Blockchain, Digital Assets & Custody industry groups, and lead of the Financial Services Compliance, Financial Privacy, and Financial Crime Prevention vertical of the Fintech industry group, Joe has extensive experience providing guidance related to financial services, principally those involving money transmission, exchange and emerging payment solutions. He helps companies obtain state money transmission licenses, register with FinCEN as money services businesses, draft and implement anti-money laundering programs, and comply with state and federal financial privacy laws. Joe's litigation work focuses on combating cybercrime and enforcing website terms of use.

Outside the financial services space, Joe counsels clients regarding compliance with state and federal privacy and data protection laws (including the CCPA), anti-spamming and anti-phishing statutes, computer intrusion laws, state data protection and breach notification laws, international data protection laws (including the GDPR) and credit protection laws, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act. He has also spent considerable time conducting privacy audits and helping clients develop and implement information governance programs.

Joe provides counsel on a number of regulatory issues related to financial services, including the Bank Secrecy Act, FinCEN regulations, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements and state money transmission and financial services laws.

Leader in Blockchain Law

A leader in the blockchain space, Joe represented the State of Washington’s first licensed bitcoin company, CoinMe, and first cryptocurrency POS solution for the cannabis industry. He is currently working with a number of cryptocurrency exchanges to obtain their money transmitter licenses and to formalize the requisite internal governance to operate in the United States.

Joe is a key advisor to the Chamber of Digital Commerce, co-chairing its state working group. He also has experience advising the government, having counseled 15 U.S. House Representatives and Senators on ways to integrate blockchain technology into government functions to reduce bureaucracy. He testified before Washington State House and Senate legislative committees considering legislation related to blockchain and cryptocurrency. Joe has also represented clients under threat of enforcement by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.

Privacy and Data Threats and Regulatory Compliance

When security threats emerge, Joe manages a rapid response enforcement team to vigorously defend clients, such as Facebook, against illegal spamming, phishing, pretexting and other forms of malicious internet behavior. Actions to prosecute individuals whose behavior interferes with client websites or internet activity often include extensive internet forensic work, cease-and-desist actions and formal litigation.

Joe advises clients regarding compliance with state and federal privacy and data protection laws, including anti-spamming and anti-phishing statutes, computer intrusion laws, and state data protection and breach notification laws.

Joe provides consumer protection compliance advice to companies regarding their obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and fair debt collections practices statutes. This practice focuses primarily on the protection and safeguarding of customer personal data.

International Counsel on Data Transfer and EU Privacy Shield

Joe has extensive experience in international data transfer laws, helping companies that want to transfer data across international boundaries to do so in compliance with transnational regulations. He also advises clients regarding operation of Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower programs in the EU, and conducting U.S.-based litigation discovery in the EU. He assists clients in joining the U.S. Department of Commerce's EU Privacy Shield certification program and counsels them with respect to compliance with European Union Directives on privacy, data protection, e-commerce and electronic communications services. He also provides advice to companies regarding compliance with United States sanctions programs (OFAC).

In past years, Joe defended Honeywell International Inc. against asbestos claims related to automotive friction products, managing depositions and pre-trial matters for approximately 20 cases each year.
Pro bono work is central to Joe's practice. He focuses on refugee/asylum law, representing asylum-seekers at all levels of the immigration process. He is currently branching out by representing an inmate from the King County Regional Justice Center in a challenge to its medical treatment policies and procedures.

DC Blockchain Summit 2019

Cast Your Vote: The Future of Blockchain Voting

Blockchain will transform government and numerous industries. But what about the future of voting?

Virtual Currency Report   Technology related image

Focusing on the Law and Regulation of Bitcoin and Other Digital Currencies



A comprehensive chart that summarizes state laws regarding security breach notification. 


Ranked by Chambers FinTech USA Two Years in a Row

Professional Recognition

  • Ranked by Chambers USA as a Tier 3 Lawyer in Blockchain/Crypto Law, 2021
  • Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) Excellence Award in Professional Responsibility
  • Listed in Super Lawyers Magazine as a "Washington Rising Star," 2014 – 2016
  • Recognized in Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies Law by Chambers FinTech Guide, 2022 – 2023

Professional Leadership

Community Involvement

  • Help Africa Relief and Development Inc., Vice President 2002 - 2007

Related Employment

  • Georgetown Institute for the Study of International Migration, Washington, D.C., Researcher, 2004 - 2005
  • Perkins Coie LLP, Seattle, WA, Summer Associate, 2004
  • Human Rights Watch, Africa Division, New York, NY, Klatsky Legal Fellow, 2003





Bar and Court Admissions

  • Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington


  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., cum laude, 2005, Associate Editor, Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics
  • University of Washington, B.A., Political Science and Philosophy, 2001


  • Spanish