The Virtual Currency Regulation Review. Editors Michael Sackheim and Nathan A Howell. London, England: Law Business Research Ltd, 2018. ISBN 978-1-912228-77-5, Pp. 412, $457.68. Reviewed by Ian Cuillerier, White & Case LLP.
Just over 10 years ago, Bitcoin, the first virtual currency, was launched. It and other cryptocurrencies have since emerged from relative obscurity, overcome many obstacles to their development and have grown in prominence. The Virtual Currency Regulation Review (The Review) is an impressive work on this important, emerging area of the law. Legal practitioners, transactional and regulatory alike, scholars and students, policymakers and others will find this comprehensive, in-depth review to be most instructive.
The Review covers many countries, from Argentina and Australia to Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States, and many in between. The legal issues around cryptocurrencies are addressed for no less than 30 jurisdictions. As noted by the editors, "virtual currencies are essentially borderless," and the borderless nature of the technology that enables virtual currencies was the inspiration for The Review. Lawyers in any given jurisdiction advising on a regulatory or on a transactional matter, or having to provide a legal memorandum or opinion on any issue of concern in the area, would do well to understand how legal considerations are weighed in other major jurisdictions. When so many questions remain untested before tribunals, when laws, regulation and guidance are evolving, and when so many questions remain unaddressed, important insight can be found in the approaches adopted in other countries. The result is a multitude of legal issues and questions in many jurisdictions that should be considered; each is important in the decisions around transactions and the establishment of ventures in virtual currencies. Well-founded legal advice is essential to engaging in these businesses.
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