Bitcoin: A Commodity Requiring International Regulation

Chris Sungwon Lee, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

[Ed. note: Compare Eddie Mears’ article of March 2015.]

Bitcoin’s value has surged over the years as people are turning to Bitcoin as an alternative form of currency. Despite their increasing use, Bitcoin has reigned largely free of regulations. Regulators have been slow to respond partly because of their unpreparedness in tackling Bitcoin’s distinct features.  But as Bitcoin’s risks grow with its importance, regulators are at a critical juncture of having to scurry to create a regulatory framework. Continue reading

Into the Black: The Tragic but Inevitable Regulation of Cryptocurrencies

Edward Mears, Vol. 36 Associate Editor

[Ed. note: Compare Chris Sungwon Lee’s article of October 2015 here.]

Introduction

On February 4th, 2015, Ross Ulbricht, known online as ‘Dread Pirate Roberts,’ was convicted of seven felonies for his involvement with the Silk Road, a so-called “dark-market” that existed on what is commonly known as the Deep Web – a network of unindexed websites that provide a nearly impenetrable shield of anonymity.[1]  On the Silk Road, Ulbricht and others bought and sold millions of dollars worth of illicit drugs financed with a cryptocurrency known as BitCoin.[2]  At their core, BitCoin and other cryptocurrencies are early pioneers in the frontier of virtual decentralized currency, which do without the ‘trusted’ middlemen such as banks or credit card companies that most people rely upon for their day-to-day currency transactions.[3]  By removing third parties from transactions, these cryptocurrencies provide a level of anonymity that is nearly impossible to find in traditional currency markets. Continue reading