Posts in Cryptocurrency
Crypto Regulation: Regulating the Unknown

The rise of blockchain and cryptocurrency has taken the financial world by storm. In 2017, various companies and financial firms raised capital through initial coin offerings(“ICO”). As cryptocurrency becomes more politically popular, world economic powers are faced with an important question: how do we regulate cryptocurrency?  Currently, regulatory approaches vary from country to country. Outside of the core desire to remove anonymity and push adherence to tax laws, government actions have been anything but consistent.  (see Element Group report). While the current cryptocurrency regulatory landscape is in flux, this article addresses recent trends and responses to the crypto explosion around the globe.

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Does Cryptocurrency Trading Favor Retail Investors, and If So, for How Long?

According to CoinMarketCap, as of July 24, 2018 the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies was just shy of $303 billion with Bitcoin’s market capitalization at $140 billion (17.1 million coins in circulation), down from a high of $828 billion and $294 billion, respectively, in early January 2018.

A recent report in the Financial Times indicates that there are approximately 1,600 individual investors (generally thought to be high net worth individuals), known as “Bitcoin whales” who hold one-third of the Bitcoins in circulation, and of those, approximately 100 investors own between 10,000 and 100,000 Bitcoin each in their wallets.

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What is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization? (DAO)

A Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) is an organization in which the traditional business management scheme is replaced by blockchain technology. While DAOs function like corporations in some ways, they replace board members with code and leave business decisions up to token-holders who exist as nodes along the blockchain. No single entity owns the DAO, and the organization’s day-to-day operations are executed via smart contracts. This note introduces readers to DAOs, provides insights into how major industry players and regulators are interacting with them, and speculates on how DAOs may influence the future of corporate law. 

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What is the Value of Cryptocurrency?

By late 2017, the value of Bitcoin (BTC) had risen to an unprecedented $19,843 per coin after trading below $1,000 just a year earlier. Though it has fallen well below those highs, Bitcoin’s value — and the value of other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum — has continued to remain much higher than anyone expected.

Where does this value come from? Among the many potential factors is supply and demand. Bitcoin, for example, is limited to a total of 21 million coins. By now, more than eighty percent of those have already been mined (Molly Jane Zuckerman, CoinTelegraph).

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What is Cryptocurrency?

By Megan Herr & Thomas Dyer

Innovators have a tendency of identifying problems and subsequently creating a solution instead of the inverse. Great ideas do not make historic innovations; creative solutions to problems do. Cryptocurrency arose out of the identified problems contained in “traditional” fiat currencies. Transactions involving fiat currencies are often traceable by parties who should not otherwise have access to that information. Cryptocurrencies effectively address both of these problems, along with a handful of others through innovations including blind algorithms and the related blockchain technology.

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Facts and Circumstances: Perhaps Not All ICOs Are Securities

Initial coin offerings (ICOs), also sometimes called token sales, have exploded as the fastest growing segment of the world-wide capital markets. ICOs gained prominence in 2016 following a $160 million raise by an entity called “The DAO.” (Connie Loizos, TechCrunch) ICO fundraises grew from an estimated $263 million in 2016 to north of $5 billion in 2017. (Oscar Williams-Grut, Business Insider) The trend has continued in 2018, with an estimated $9.5 billion raised through the first five months of the year. (Coinschedule; see also Katie Rooney, CNBC) Despite this growth, there is still considerable legal uncertainty as to the status of ICOs and whether they are subject to regulation as securities in the United States.

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