The Emerging Legal and Regulatory Framework For An Expanding Virtual Currency Industry

The Emerging Legal and Regulatory Framework For An Expanding Virtual Currency Industry


By: V. Gerard Comizio, John M. Liftin, Nathan S. Brownback

The financial services industry is undergoing rapid technological change in meeting and anticipating business opportunities and needs, consumer demands and expectations, and demographic trends. One of the most important new technologies is virtual currency ("VC"), which, beginning with Bitcoin in 2008, has quickly exploded into an emerging financial ecosystem composed of an increasing variety of currencies not backed by any government, tokens, and peer-to-peer payment systems networks. VCs and the blockchain ledger technology underlying them create new possibilities for peer-to-peer payment systems, money transmission, mobile payment systems, smart contracts, and many other innovations and applications, with the potential to benefit not only purchasers and sellers of VC, but also investors in VC business activity, and perhaps more significantly, consumers. VC businesses and VCs themselves have achieved considerable market penetration. Transactions in Bitcoin alone exceed $2 billion per day in volume, and many payment systems providers, such as PayPal, accept VC payments.

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