CJ is a third-year J.D./Taxation LLM candidate at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and is pursuing a Corporate and Commercial Law Certificate. He is a Colorado native who graduated from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs with a Bachelor's Degree in Finance and a minor in Accounting. He has also earned a Master's Degree in Financial Planning from Golden Gate University.
In addition to attending law school at night, CJ works full time at Charles Schwab as a Senior Legal Specialist. During his previous career in finance, he earned and still maintains his Series 24, Series 9/10, Series 7, Series 63, and Series 66. He also earned and maintains the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®) and Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS®) designations. His legal interests include corporate compliance and taxation.
CJ currently has three children, all under the age of four, and a beautiful wife who is an extraordinary stay-at-home mom. Outside of law school, he enjoys reading, playing with his kids, and watching movies.
Countries around the world are being forced to decide what role, if any, cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (“ICOs”) will play in the future of their financial markets. Russia is no exception. Russian officials’ initial actions included proposals that would prohibit private investors from investing, ban cryptocurrencies altogether, and even imprison users (Maria Prusakova, Medium). Recently, however, changes appear to be on the horizon as Russian President Vladimir Putin began pushing for legislation addressing cryptocurrencies, crypto mining, and ICOs. While the official drafts are still working their way through Parliament, the proposed regulations will allow for some form of ICOs and digital asset trading. (Id).
With the revolutionary technology known as blockchain quickly spreading across the globe, regulators are struggling to find an ideal balance between regulation and innovation. The critical question is whether cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (“ICOs”) are unique enough to warrant the creation of a new categories or if they should be considered securities and therefore subject to existing securities laws and requirements. Because new cryptocurrencies do not require government backing, many leaders in the cryptocurrency arena fear additional regulatory delay, or excessive regulations, will lead many cryptocurrency founders to take their innovation and multibillion dollar businesses overseas to countries with more established and favorable regulations (Kate Rooney, CNBC).
Crypto exchanges—which operate much like traditional stock exchanges—are online platforms where crypto currencies are traded. Traditional exchanges deal almost exclusively with exchanging fiat, or legal tender currency, for highly regulated securities, such as stocks and bonds. Similarly, crypto exchanges primarily deal with trading one cryptocurrency for another. It is unclear which agency has, or should have, authority to regulate this arena because these exchanges primarily trade one currency for another. Regulating crypto exchanges is difficult because of the subtly different and often overlapping definitions surrounding initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies (Michael del Casillo, Forbes). The unprecedented growth and increasing number of new crypto exchanges and cryptocurrencies is another factor making unified regulation increasingly difficult.
Unlike other currencies and monetary systems that rely on a centralized authority, such as banks, to track transactions, maintain records, and ensure balances remain accurate and current; cryptocurrencies operate without any type of centralized reporting system. Instead, cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, utilize a decentralized network to verify and confirm transactions, track balances, flawlessly store and maintain records, and even generate new currency. While the exact manner in which this is accomplished is extremely technical and complex, it essentially boils down to giving every node, or peer, on the network access to all the records, including balances.