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Cryptographic Currencies from a Tech-Policy Perspective: Policy Issues and Technical Directions

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNSC,volume 8976)


We study legal and policy issues surrounding crypto currencies, such as Bitcoin, and how those issues interact with technical design options. With an interdisciplinary team, we consider in depth a variety of issues surrounding law, policy, and crypto currencies—such as the physical location where a crypto currency’s value exists for jurisdictional and other purposes, the regulation of anonymous or pseudonymous currencies, and challenges as virtual currency protocols and laws evolve. We reflect on how different technical directions may interact with the relevant laws and policies, raising key issues for both policy experts and technologists.


  • Money Laundering
  • Silk Road
  • Technical Mechanism
  • Technical Direction
  • Virtual Currency

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We thank Jeff Haley, the members of the University of Washington Tech Policy Lab, and the members of the University of Washington Security and Privacy Research Lab for valuable discussions, and we thank our anonymous reviewers for feedback on an earlier version. This work was supported in part by NSF Award CNS-0846065, by the Short-Dooley Endowed Career Development Professorship, and by the University of Washington Tech Policy Lab.

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Appendix: Disclaimer

Appendix: Disclaimer

Since this effort involves the collaboration of individuals in both the law and technology fields, we must give this disclaimer: This analysis is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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© 2015 International Financial Cryptography Association

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McReynolds, E., Lerner, A., Scott, W., Roesner, F., Kohno, T. (2015). Cryptographic Currencies from a Tech-Policy Perspective: Policy Issues and Technical Directions. In: Brenner, M., Christin, N., Johnson, B., Rohloff, K. (eds) Financial Cryptography and Data Security. FC 2015. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 8976. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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