A contribution to the analysis of the legal status of cryptocurrencies

This paper advocates that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum don’t challenge the current legal system, since they fit comfortably enough into the immaterial asset legal definition. As such, while a blockchain-based cryptocurrency can’t be considered as legal tender or electronic money, it can be exchanged on a contractual basis as it happens with every other kind of good.

As per the alleged crime-supporting role of cryptocurrencies by away of the anonymity of the blockchain transactions, this article demonstrates that the anonymity granted herein is not absolute. Therefore it is not correct to claim that this technology has been built, by design, to foster illegal behaviour.

This is an important finding because, in the opposite case, there would have been room to affirm the impossibility to use a cryptocurrency as part of an agreement because of its intrinsic illegal nature.

Keywords: legal tender – private money – electronic money – asymmetric encryption – blockchain forensic – cryptocurrencies.

Andrea Monti ? – Ragion pratica – Issue 51, December 2018 – pag. 361

Table of contents
1. Cryptocurrency Technology from Digicash to Bitcoin
2. The relationship between Cryptocurrency and the legal/economic currency definition
3. Crypotcurrency as Immaterial Good
4. Cryptocurrency Transactions and (Economic) Public Order Compliance
5. Conclusion

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