ABA Releases Cryptocurrency Legal White Paper

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By George Khoury, Esq. on March 19, 2019 3:58 PM

For lawyers serving cryptocurrency clients, or clients with legal issues revolving around crypto, a recently released white paper may be the new crypto-lawyer's bible.

The ABA's Derivatives and Futures Law Committee's Innovative Digital Products and Process Subcommittee Jurisdiction Working Group released a 350-page report detailing the current state of cryptocurrency federally and on the state level. And for legal practitioners in the tech field, it's probably worthwhile to at least skim it over.

Get to Know Crypto

The white paper lays out all the current regulations that relate to cryptocurrencies, and also provides quite a bit of background on how the technology functions, and what all the new language surrounding it means. For example, it explains one of the more common terminology confusions between a "digital asset" and a "token." A token is the most common type of digital asset in the crypto world, like Velcro is to hook and loop. However, a digital asset can also include digitized records, like the nodes on a blockchain.

In addition to all the definitions and background information, the white paper leads off with a glossary of terms and acronyms that the crypto-savvy need to know, like DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology), and FMA (New Zealand Financial Market Authority).

Comprehensive Crypto

Most notably, the white paper provides the most comprehensive collection, to date, of the regulations and laws that impact cryptocurrency, crypto-technology, and crypto-investors.

It also discusses those unique intersections of the regulations where cryptocurrency, tokens, and digital assets seem to transition from one asset class to another to defy regulators.

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