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Category Archives: Digital Currency

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The Cross-Industry Promise of Blockchain

The blockchain protocol (a form of a ‘distributed ledger system’) was originally designed as a platform to process Bitcoin transactions.  The protocol enables peer-to-peer transactions and eliminates the need for a trusted intermediary to verify and process the transactions. The blockchain protocol as a platform is actually independent of Bitcoin, and is therefore transferable to … Continue Reading

European Court Gives Bitcoin a Tax-Free Boost

In an important ruling for digital currency service providers, EU’s top court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), ruled that transactions to exchange a traditional currency for bitcoin virtual currency, or vice versa, were not subject to value added tax (VAT), effectively treating such transactions like an exchange of cash. (Skatteverket v … Continue Reading

New York Releases Final BitLicense Rules

Readers of this blog will know that we have been following the recent legal developments relating to bitcoin and other virtual currency systems [also here and here].  Yesterday, in a significant development reflecting the general maturation of virtual currencies as a recognized payment system, Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of the New York State Dept. of Financial … Continue Reading

FinCEN Releases Two Rulings Classifying a Bitcoin Payment System and Virtual Currency Trading Platform as MSBs

In its opening salvo bringing bitcoin under the watchful eye of the federal government, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a Guidance (FIN-2013-G001) in March 2013 clarifying that anti-money laundering regulations concerning record keeping and recording apply to digital currency exchanges.  Under this initial guidance, a bitcoin exchange that allows users to buy bitcoin … Continue Reading

Proposed “Bitlicense” Regulations Published to the New York Register

Today’s New York State Register includes a Notice of Proposed Rule Making from the New York State Department of Financial Services (the “NYSDFS”) regarding the regulation of virtual currency (“Regulation of the Conduct of Virtual Currency Businesses,” No. DFS-29-14-00015-P).  The proposed rule calls for the creation of the “bitlicense” which the NYSDFS has hinted at … Continue Reading

FINRA Issues Investor Alert Concerning Bitcoin Trading and Speculation

Bitcoin remains fixed on the front pages of the business and technology news for both the salacious and the positive. Much attention has been paid to the collapse of the former top bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, stemming from the purported theft of nearly $500 million in bitcoins.  The temporary suspension of trading in the securities … Continue Reading

Bitcoins: Legal and Business Issues

On Monday, the Senate Committee On Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held the first of two days of hearings on Bitcoin and digital currencies — Beyond Silk Road: Potential Risks, Threats, and Promises of Virtual Currencies.  During the “surprisingly friendly” hearings, the price of bitcoin soared as regulators, officials, and academics offered cautious, but positive … Continue Reading
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