At less than a decade old, Bitcoin and other virtual currencies have had a major societal impact, and proven to be a unique payment systems challenge for law enforcement, financial regulatory authorities worldwide, and the investment community. Rapid introduction and diffusion of technological changes throughout society, such as the blockchain that serves as Bitcoin’s crypto-foundation, continue to exceed the ability of law and regulation to keep pace. During 2017 alone, the market price of Bitcoin rose 1,735%, from about $970 to $14,292, causing an investor feeding frenzy. As of September 11, 2018, a total of 1,935 cryptocurrencies are reported, having an approximate market capitalization of $191.54 billion at that date. A brief history of the fast moving adoption of blockchain-based technology is provided, along with a look at the efforts of regulators to keep up with the staggering worldwide growth in the usage of virtual currencies.
In the United States, enforcement actions for violations of law involving virtual currencies are brought primarily by: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC); The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); and The Department of The Treasury through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). This Article contributes to the literature and our understanding of the constant struggle of law and regulation to keep pace with rapid technological developments.
Bitcoin, Virtual Currencies, and the Struggle of Law and Regulation to Keep Pace,
102 Marq. L. Rev. 447
Available at: https://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/mulr/vol102/iss2/5