Realm of the Coin: Bitcoin and Civil Procedure

44 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2015

See all articles by Max Raskin

Max Raskin

New York University School of Law

Date Written: June 1, 2015


Bitcoin is a private currency issued and governed by a global network of computers. Thus far, the majority of legal cases involving bitcoin have been criminal prosecutions or disputes between bitcoin companies. If bitcoin or some iteration continues to grow, courts will need to craft rules of civil jurisdiction. This paper is the first attempt to apply existing rules of civil procedure to bitcoin.

Bitcoins ought be treated as tangible property for the purposes of jurisdiction. Although they have an incorporeal form, as a practical matter, courts are able to site bitcoins to a single location and thus should do so. This allows courts to apply existing due process and comity jurisprudence.

Keywords: Bitcoin, Civil Procedure, Cryptocurrencies, Digital Currency, Intangibles, Conflict of Laws, Judgments, Silk Road, Enforcement

JEL Classification: E42, K40, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

Raskin, Max, Realm of the Coin: Bitcoin and Civil Procedure (June 1, 2015). Fordham Journal of Corporate and Financial Law, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2015, Available at SSRN:

Max Raskin (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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