A Model Crypto-Asset Regulatory Framework

9 Pages Posted: 10 May 2019 Last revised: 20 May 2019

Date Written: May 16, 2019


A stylized ‘crypto-asset’ regulatory framework (‘Framework’) is presented.

It is designed to capture the regulatory permutations and implications of the most prevalent and evolving forms of tradable value created through the use of evolving cryptographically-based (‘crypto’) schemes, as well as their stylized position in a financial ecosystem. The most prevalent of these value-based schemes are based on what is now known as distributed ledger technologies (DLTs), with the main type of DLT in use known as ‘blockchain’ technology.

Value-based applications that can be derived or generated from use of DLTs are known in this Framework as (private) crypto-assets. They can be distinguished from (public) applications of crypto-based value such as those planned by sovereign states for use as legal tender.

The main focus of the Framework is on these evolving ‘private’ use of crypto-assets and their representation as cryptographically-secure and traceable ‘tokens’ of value. These tokenized assets can be traded – that is transferred or exchanged - within regulated or unregulated exchanges, or directly, securely and independently between parties without the need for a centralized exchange.
Together they form what could be termed the ‘crypto-economy.’

All these developments challenge the four corners of existing legal and regulatory frameworks with, as yet, no global unanimity as to which regulators have oversight over all or some components of these crypto-assets.

The overall goal of any regulation would be to fasten the activities of the most proximate regulators to particular asset classes or value transfer/exchange mechanisms so as to avoid regulatory arbitrage. Where there are no proximate regulations to do so, regulatory sandboxes by the most proximate regulators could be employed.

The model Framework presented is designed to systematize the evolving asset types.

Keywords: blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technologies; ICOs; STOs, regulation, SEC, Bitcoin, Smart Contracts, FinCEn, Ethereum; ripple, stable coins, crypto currencies, tokens

Suggested Citation

Perlman, Leon, A Model Crypto-Asset Regulatory Framework (May 16, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3370679 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3370679

Leon Perlman (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School ( email )

New York, NY
United States

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