Editor: Jeffrey H. Matsuura

Digital Currency: An International Legal and Regulatory Compliance Guide

eBook: US $49 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $113
Printed Copy: US $89
Library License: US $196
ISBN: 978-1-68108-224-0 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-68108-223-3 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2016
DOI: 10.2174/97816810822331160101

Introduction

Digital or ‘virtual’ currencies pose significant challenges for government, financial and legal institutions because of their non-physical nature and their relative anonymity to physical currency. These attributes make this form of exchange extremely volatile and, at the same time, attractive to criminals. Many countries around the world have, therefore issued warnings against the use of digital currencies and have enacted laws to regulate and in some cases, restrict their use among members under their respective jurisdictions.

Digital Currency: An International Legal and Regulatory Compliance Guide serves as a primer for both general and specialized readers, as well as business law and e-commerce teachers and students, to recognize and understand the extensive network of laws and regulations already in place around the world which have a profound impact on the creation, distribution and use of digital currency and blockchain technology. The book is also a compliance guide assisting legal practitioners in the fields of business, law, and technology to develop, implement, manage, and maintain strategies, policies, practices, and procedures to ensure that their activities involving digital currency and blockchain technology comply with a complex set of legal requirements in several jurisdictions. The book addresses both the complex set of existing laws that have a profound impact on digital currencies and blockchain technology, and the emerging new legal requirements directed specifically towards digital currency. Readers will understand the broad implications of laws and regulations on digital currency and blockchain development and its use, and will also be equipped with the knowledge to incorporate these effectively into their professional and personal endeavors. This entails maximizing the value of digital currency and blockchain technology while also minimizing their risk of adverse legal consequences. Additionally, policymakers seeking to enforce current legislations or wishing to draft appropriate new regulations in the digital currency and blockchain economy will also benefit from the information provided in this book.

Preface

The dramatic growth in recognition and popularity of Bitcoin in recent years has spurred substantial attention to the range of potential uses for digital currencies of all forms. That attention has led to growing discussion of the legal, regulatory, and public policy issues associated with widespread use of virtual currencies. This book is intended to provide guidance for all parties involved with or interested in development and use of digital currencies. It is written to provide concise and readily accessible information regarding key legal and regulatory compliance issues and obligations associated with activities and operations involving digital currencies. The book is also intended to emphasize the key message that the challenge of effective legal compliance is a critical current issue for the digital currency community, it is not a topic that can be deferred for future consideration.

There is currently substantial discussion of the need for legal and regulatory oversight of virtual currencies. Much of that discussion seems to be presented in the context of creation of new laws. In fact however, virtual currencies are already within the scope of an extensive network of rules and regulations. Even without implementation of new requirements specifically directed toward digital currencies, a wide range of existing laws, regulations, and policies are already applicable to these currencies, and those legal provisions will have a profound impact on the growth of digital currency use. This book helps readers to identify and begin to address their existing legal compliance obligations.

The scope of this book is global. It discusses compliance issues and obligations as they currently exist and as they are emerging in countries around the world. Participants in the virtual currency ecosystem already face legal compliance obligations associated with a wide range of subjects including contract law, taxes, consumer rights, securities law, debtor/creditor relations, criminal law and a variety of other topics. This book is intended to help all parties interested in virtual currency around the world to recognize critical legal issues and to begin to develop and implement their legal compliance strategies. The material presented in this book does not constitute formal legal counsel. All readers must seek appropriate legal advice from their own attorneys who are familiar with their specific needs and situation. The information provided in this book is offered only for informational and educational purposes. Additionally, the author is not aware of any conflicts of interest associated with this book or its contents.

This book provides participants in the virtual currency community, government officials, scholars, and the general public with a resource to help them identify key legal compliance issues associated with digital currency use. With that knowledge, readers can effectively assess the opportunities and challenges offered by virtual currency. They can also begin to understand legal rights and compliance obligations relevant to their own current and future use of digital currency systems.

All participants in the virtual currency community are already operating within the reach of an extensive, diverse, and complex set of legal requirements enforced by multiple jurisdictions. Compliance with those obligations is mandatory, not optional. This book is intended to provide a starting point for individuals and organizations as they assess the extent of their legal compliance obligations and they begin to implement effective strategies to ensure that they successfully and promptly meet those obligations. This book will help readers to begin the process of legal compliance, but we must all recognize that the legal compliance effort is both complicated and perpetual.

Jeffrey H. Matsuura
Enterprise Business Law Group LLC
USA

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