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Blockchain law: What is it we're talking about when we talk about crypto?

Publication May 2019

In his Blockchain Law column, Robert A. Schwinger addresses the question of where crypto fits in among all the terms the law uses to describe concepts that relate, however closely or loosely, to money. As cryptocurrency use becomes increasingly common in commercial activity, courts have found themselves having to grapple with how to characterize this new form of asset.

For all the discussions had about cryptocurrency, a very basic question often gets ignored: Just what is it that we’re talking about when we talk about crypto? Where does crypto fit in among all the terms the law uses to describe concepts that relate, however closely or loosely, to money? As cryptocurrency use becomes increasingly common in commercial activity, courts have found themselves having to grapple with how to characterize this new form of asset.

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