Cryptocurrencies and Securities Fraud: In Need of Legal Guidance

9 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2019 Last revised: 30 Jan 2021

See all articles by Ellen S. Podgor

Ellen S. Podgor

Stetson University College of Law

Date Written: July 2, 2019


The specificity of statutes is important when the statute provides for criminal penalties. This Essay examines a cryptocurrency fraud prosecution, looking at the issue of whether cryptocurrency is included in securities fraud statutes. It also looks at proposed legislation that would omit cryptocurrency as a security, but then calls for enhanced regulation and tax relief. Additional clarification is needed to ascertain whether cryptocurrency fraud can be prosecuted under current securities fraud statutes. This Essay questions such prosecutions when the location of key definitions rest within agency regulations. Although specificity may not be needed to account for every imaginable type of fraud, when it comes to cryptocurrencies, Congress needs to provide more direction.

Keywords: fraud, white collar crime, cyrtocurrency, criminal statutes

JEL Classification: K14, K22

Suggested Citation

Podgor, Ellen S., Cryptocurrencies and Securities Fraud: In Need of Legal Guidance (July 2, 2019). Iowa Law Review, Vol. 104, No. Online, 2020, Available at SSRN: or

Ellen S. Podgor (Contact Author)

Stetson University College of Law ( email )

1401 61st Street South
Gulfport, FL 33707
United States
727 562 7348 (Phone)


Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics