ICLS interviews Professor Comizio on his new book, Virtual Currency Law: the Emerging Legal and Regulatory Framework

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On March 17, 2022, Dr. Björn Arp, a Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the American University Washington College of Law Center on International Commercial Arbitration, interviewed Professor Gerard Comizio, Associate Director of the Business Law Program (BLP), about his new book, Virtual Currency Law: the Emerging Legal and Regulatory Framework. The conversation was hosted Program for International & Comparative Law Studies (ICLS) and the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Law Society (BCLS).

At the outset of the discussion, Professor Comizio remarked that he was motivated to write the book by the evolving demands of the banking practice area from traditional clients such as financial institutions in addition to the newer virtual currency trading exchanges. Professor Comizio stated that the emergence of virtual currency highlights exciting possibilities for peer-to-peer payment systems, money transmission, increased financial inclusion, and other investment opportunities; however, he also cautioned that cryptocurrency use faces various concerns relating to national security, money laundering, and other illegitimate activities.

Professor Comizio also spoke to the patchwork regulatory approach taken by U.S. federal and state regulators, under which each agency organically applies traditional financial service laws and regulations under different regulatory schemes to various cryptocurrency activities. He added that this approach creates compliance challenges for companies engaged in cryptocurrency activities because they are often subject to brand new interpretations, at times by prosecution through enforcement actions rather than regulations subject to public comment.

Additionally, Professor Comizio described quantum computing as the looming threat over virtual currencies, given the industry reliance on the unviability of the blockchain and the potential for unfriendly nation-state actors to use quantum computing to target blockchain activities with hacks and other cyber threats. In conclusion, he predicted an increased but fluctuating use of cryptocurrencies that will cause governments around the world to look at the positive opportunities while also monitoring for areas of abuse and regulatory concern.

To view a recording of the full conversation, click here.