This Essay previews issues raised by the general subject of regulating virtual currencies and the specific efforts of New York State’s Department of Financial Services’ proposed Virtual Currency Regulatory Framework (the BitLicense) in particular. It focuses on five topics in the proposal and their interplay with the current regulation of “money services” and “money transmission” […]
Trustless public ledgers (TPLs)—the technology underneath Bitcoin—do more than just create online money. The technology permits people to directly exchange money for what they want, with no intermediaries, such as credit card companies. Contract law is the law of bargained-for exchange, so a technology that enables direct exchange online will change the reality of online […]
Most legal analysis of Bitcoin has addressed public-law and regulatory matters, such as taxation, securities regulation, and money laundering. This essay considers some questions that Bitcoin raises from a private-law perspective, and it aims to show that technological innovation may highlight problems with conceptualistic, classical rules of private law.
A “digital value transfer system” (DVT) is a computer program that moves purchasing power from one person to another by exchanging different forms of virtual currency. In this Essay, I will give examples of DVTs and explain how they work. Then I will use the economic theory of budgets to explain how DVTs increase the […]