Beyond the Hype: A Practical Approach to CryptoReg

66 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2021 Last revised: 24 Jan 2022

See all articles by Lindsay Sain Jones

Lindsay Sain Jones

Terry College of Business, University of Georgia

Date Written: January 24, 2022


Most regulatory action related to cryptocurrencies is primarily aimed at preventing scams, illicit uses, and market manipulation. Although the technology that underlies cryptocurrencies is groundbreaking, these regulatory concerns are not. Nonetheless, regulators have struggled to fit cryptocurrencies into their preexisting legal frameworks. For a time, it seemed that cryptocurrencies would be classified by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a commodity, by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a form of money, and by the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) as property. Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had determined that the two most well-known cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ether, were not securities. In December of 2020, however, the SEC filed an enforcement action against Ripple Labs for issuing XRP, a cryptocurrency that the SEC deemed a security. Although the future of the Ripple lawsuit is uncertain, the SEC’s unexpected action reveals the need for regulatory clarity for cryptocurrency markets. The time has come to develop a regulatory plan for cryptocurrencies that will not only provide clarity and address legitimate concerns but also allow for the continued development of cryptocurrencies. This Article proposes to minimize the SEC’s oversight of cryptocurrencies and suggests statutory amendments that would 1) strengthen the authority of the CFTC and FinCEN to effectively oversee cryptocurrency markets and 2) modernize tax policy to enable the development of cryptocurrencies as a viable payment method.

Keywords: Cryptocurrency, security, commodity, regulation, money

Suggested Citation

Jones, Lindsay, Beyond the Hype: A Practical Approach to CryptoReg (January 24, 2022). Virginia Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 25, 2022, Available at SSRN: or

Lindsay Jones (Contact Author)

Terry College of Business, University of Georgia ( email )

610 S. Lumpkin Street
Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States
7065424290 (Phone)

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