ABA White Paper on Cryptocurrency Regulations

By George Khoury, Esq. on April 01, 2019 | Last updated on April 04, 2019

In-house compliance lawyers and general counsel at forward-thinking companies looking to capitalize on the crypto-boom will be thrilled to learn that a subcommittee of the ABA Derivatives and Futures Law Committee has issued a white paper discussing nearly all existing regulations covering cryptocurrencies

The white paper is more than just "some guidance" on cryptocurrency, too. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, it's a long read.

White Paper Explains It All

From federal to state laws, to pertinent laws across the globe, the wild wild west days of cryptocurrency are quickly drawing to a close as the regulators regulate. But, due to the patchwork of current regulations and new policy driven decisions, even those crypto-players that want to be on the up and up can find themselves being pushed down by regulatory bodies, and state and federal prosecutors. Simply put, it's difficult to keep everything legal when what's legal seems to keep changing.

The white paper is broken down into several completely separate sections. Fortunately, the table of contents is rather detailed and will allow users to quickly navigate to the sections most pertinent to their concerns. Luckily, for those lawyers that need an introductory lesson on cryptocurrency, generally, it leads off with a comprehensive background section about what blockchain is, how it works, and the concept behind cryptocurrency, digital assets and tokens.

Each subsequent section addresses various regulatory issues in detail, such as: The Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC Regulation; Securities Act and Exchange Act; Investment Company Act and Investment Advisors Act; and international regulations. The 350-page report goes into detail about how each impacts the industry, lawmakers and the public.

Fixing the Crypto Nightmare

The report also discusses proposed solutions to current shortcomings in the regulatory scheme. The proposed solution suggests that interagency cooperation, between the SEC and CFTC for instance, is a critical component to any solution. This interagency cooperation is required because as cyrptocurrencies transition from inception to the pre-ICO phase and onwards, the level of each agency's interest in regulating changes.

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