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Business Law Program Pioneers First U.S. Course on Virtual Currency Laws

Beginning with Bitcoin in 2008, virtual currency has quickly exploded into an emerging financial ecosystem composed of an increasing number and variety of non-government based legal tender with a global market cap of almost $3 trillion today. This global emergence illustrates the exciting possibilities for peer-to-peer payment systems, money transmission, mobile payment systems, and investment opportunities not only for purchasers and sellers of virtual currency but also for investors in virtual currency-related business activities. Notwithstanding these promising legal, regulatory, technological, business and economic developments, virtual currencies have also raise significant concerns about potential illegal and fraudulent activities related to these currencies, with governments, regulators, and law enforcement authorities increasingly focused on the use of these currencies and their supporting block chain technology.

Furthering the Business Law Program’s wide-ranging initiatives designed to foster a deeper understanding of transformative financial technologies, AUWCL recently announced that it has begun offering one of the first virtual currency law courses in the country. The course, taught by the associate director of the Business Law Program Professor Jerry Comizio, is devoted to exploring the emerging legal, regulatory and compliance framework governing virtual currency activities.

The course explores how, in light of the foregoing developments-and in the absence of any comprehensive national regulation-there is an emerging legal and regulatory framework governing virtual currency activities being developed by Federal and state governments, regulators and other authorities that focuses on how virtual currency and related businesses activities generally fit within the framework of “traditional” financial services laws that they respectively administer and enforce. Specifically, the course analyzes how U.S. banking, securities, commodities, money transmission, servicing and licensing, broker-dealer, securities and commodities exchange, anti-money laundering, cybersecurity, UCC, tax and international laws are being applied to virtual currency business activities.