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March 13, 2019

ABA Business Law Section releases white paper on digital assets and crypto-currencies

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2019 — The American Bar Association Business Law Section today published a nearly 300-page White Paper on “Digital and Digitized Assets: Federal and State Jurisdictional Issues.”  This first of its kind white paper, drafted by the section’s Derivatives and Futures Law Committee, provides a comprehensive survey of the regulation of crypto-currencies and other digital assets at both the federal and state levels.

The white paper, which can be accessed here, provides:

·        Background on digital and blockchain technologies;
·        Analysis of the application of the Commodity Exchange Act and federal securities laws to transactions in digital assets and crypto-currencies;
·        Analysis of the current positions and recent enforcement actions of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in this area;
·        Analysis of the legal processes available to the CFTC and SEC to resolve the problematic issues arising from their overlapping and potentially conflicting authority;
·        Analysis of the role and positions of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Treasury Department;
·        A survey of state laws regulating transactions in digital assets and crypto-currencies; and
·        A survey of approaches that other countries have taken to regulating these products.

The white paper was prepared by members of the Working Group of the Innovative Digitized Products and Processes Subcommittee of the ABA’s Derivatives and Futures Law Committee with the goal of providing a resource and analytical framework for considering, among others, potential issues of jurisdictional overlap between the CFTC and SEC.  It is hoped that the white paper will prove to be a valuable resource for legal practitioners and others who are active in the digital asset arena, as well as for policy makers.

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