Nerdy Money: Bitcoin, the Private Digital Currency, and the Case Against Its Regulation

46 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2012

Date Written: March 31, 2012


This Comment explores the lawfulness of using bitcoin, a privately-issued currency transacted on a peer-to-peer network, and the ability of the federal government to bar transactions between two willing parties. While there are no cases yet challenging the ability of parties in the United States to make transactions using bitcoins, there are policymakers who have denounced the use of bitcoin. This has led to the question of whether the federal government has the ability under current federal law to prohibit the use of bitcoins between willing parties. This Comment will show that the federal government has no basis to stop bitcoin users who engage in traditional consumer purchases and transfers. This Comment further argues that the federal government should refrain from passing any laws or regulations limiting the use of bitcoins. Should any claim arise, this Comment argues that there is a perfectly acceptable model with which to analogize bitcoin use: community currencies.

Keywords: bitcoin, digital currency, alternative currency, currencies, private

Suggested Citation

Kaplanov, Nikolei, Nerdy Money: Bitcoin, the Private Digital Currency, and the Case Against Its Regulation (March 31, 2012). Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper. Available at SSRN: or

Nikolei Kaplanov (Contact Author)

Temple Law Review ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

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