In a lively panel discussion on March 2nd, the New York Legal Hackers explored the shifting perceptions of Bitcoin and the various regulatory regimes impacting cryptocurrencies. Over the past several years, virtual currencies such as Bitcoin have made headlines — first as an untraceable currency used largely by criminals, then as an easily lost asset as exchanges such as Mt. Gox collapsed after security breaches, and more recently as a tech savvy investment as venture capitalists began to pour capital into cryptocurrency companies. As cryptocurrencies have gained in popularity and acceptance, governments and regulatory bodies have struggled with the question of categorizing them as something for which regulations already exist (such as a currency, a security, or a commodity) or if it is something entirely different for which new regulations need to be created.
Moderator: Houman B. Shadab, Professor of Law at New York Law School and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Taxation and Regulation of Financial Institutions