Adella Toulon-Foerster

Experienced professional focusing on Bitcoin, blockchain, and AML/KYC compliance


Adella Toulon-Foerster is a legal professional based in the Washington, D.C. area, focusing on Bitcoin, the blockchain, and AML/KYC compliance.

About Adella

Adella Toulon-Foerster

I first became interested in business and financial technology in 2001, when I co-founded LongLever Consulting, where we built online gold-based payment platforms for private buyers in the alternate currency movement. Because this consultancy was based in the Caribbean, awareness of cross-border issues, including international financial transactions, were an important part of our activities.

In 2009, I attended the Nottingham Law School in the United Kingdom and was elected Student Representative by my peers. I spent 2012 doing research on and writing my dissertation Crossing the Line: Tax Havens and Offshore Financial Centres, in which I explored privacy as a commodity, and the promotion of economic growth through foreign direct investment (FDI). I graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree, with honors.

During this time I became fascinated with the currency Bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology. Comparing it with my previous work with centralized gold-based payment systems and my research into international financial services, I could see many exciting legal and financial implications for of this disruptive new decentralized approach to currency, but also potential pitfalls for startups who were approaching Bitcoin with more enthusiasm than caution.

In late 2013 I attended the George Washington University Law School where the following year I received my Master of Laws (LLM) degree in business and finance law. As part of this program I took the opportunity to develop expertise in the legal aspects of Bitcoin, writing a legal research paper entitled Bitcoin: Strength in Numbers. This thesis examined the existing legislation surrounding the currency and probed the possibility of the disruption of the status quo of legacy banking and remittance markets through the increased adoption of mathematically sound, decentralized, peer-to-peer consensus-driven technologies.

Since then I have become very active in the Bitcoin startup community, contributing towards a number of new businesses at various stages of development. The startup environment is very dynamic, and as part of this I have done everything from writing financial regulatory compliance policies to fixing malfunctioning Bitcoin ATMs with my own two hands.

When I'm not geeking out on disruptive technologies, I can be found painting beautiful watercolors, baking amazing cakes, and teaching zumba and spinning at the nearby gym. I'm also on a personal mission to watch every single horror movie ever made.