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Authors

Anisha Reddy

Abstract

Google search volume for bitcoin and bitcoin-related keywords increased by as much as 1000 percent in 2017 from previous years. This increased interest comes hand-in-hand with increased regulatory and legislative scrutiny. Currently, there is disparate regulation for virtual currencies across national and state borders alike. States’ promulgation of various and incongruous virtual currency regulations have forced service providers to withdraw from different states within the country. However, transactions are not contained within state lines, and disparate state-by-state regulation is impracticable.

The Uniform Law Commission recognized the need for uniform guidance for those entering the North American market and drafted the Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act for each state to adopt in 2017. This Comment argues that every state should implement language identical or similar to the Uniform Law Commission’s proposed regulation.

Implementing a uniform regulation applicable to clearly defined entities in this explosively growing field would provide harmony amongst the states and create an environment where both service providers and end-users have clear guidance on how to conform to the law. Further, regulatory clarity would provide consumers with much needed protection.

This Comment begins by examining the history and development of bitcoin and blockchain assets. Next, this Comment dis- cusses the need for regulations in the United States. Then, this Comment provides an overview of the existing laws and regulations at both state and federal levels, and examines the simultaneous yet inconsistent legal characterizations imposed on virtual currencies. Virtual currencies can be: a piece of property, a se- curity, a commodity, and of course, a currency. This Comment further analyzes the language and criticisms of the Uniform Law Commission’s proposed Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act. Finally, this Comment argues that the adoption of a uniform regulation is vital for the blockchain community’s continued existence in America.

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