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abaThis June, the American Bar Association (from now on ABA) will play host to an in-person event entitled, “Bitcoin and other Digital Currencies: Emerging Issues in Regulation and Enforcement.” The event will take place on June 26th, 2015 at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington DC.

For this event, the ABA will examine the latest developments in compliance and regulation aimed at digital currency. Panel discussions will explore areas that are the focus of regulators and law enforcement officials. In the US New York and California have moved to enact legislation on the use of digital currency in their jurisdictions. For example, New York had to withdraw its controversial bitlicense after proposed rules were seen to be too draconian.

Globally, most of the regulation has centered around three areas. The first involves compliance with KYC and AML to prevent fraud. The second area has been the debate, still raging in some places, on whether to treat digital currency as money or as a commodity. Last but not least is the growing issue of the security of client funds.

CCN spoke to Nina Marino, National Institute Chair and a Partner at Kaplan Marino, and the following is what she had to say,

Are you satisfied with the direction regulation is taking at federal and state level in the US?


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As would be expected with the introduction of any new medium by which commerce is conducted, regulation on both the state and federal level is slow.

So far, most legislation has been a mixed bag of both good and bad. What do you think accounts for this schizophrenic approach to Bitcoin legislation?

I think the number one driving force that accounts for any schisms we witness in Bitcoin regulation is the fact that several government agencies federally, as well as individual state government agencies, have jurisdiction and hence, an interest.

Other jurisdictions such as the UK would seem to be more welcoming of Bitcoin than the US. Do you think that the US is losing the initiative on this?

No.

Are there any specific laws that you would like to see changed, amended or just repealed?

Not presently.

In which direction would you like to see digital currency regulation in general moving in the US?

Forward.

How do you see your event driving that vision / agenda forward?

Our National Institute will bring together some of the foremost legal minds focusing today on the use and regulation of Bitcoin and other Digital Currencies both domestically and internationally. By making this conference an all day event, we are both opening up the dialogue on digital currency and paving the way for better global law enforcement oversight, legislation and regulation.

How do you foresee the global regulation on digital currencies shaping up eventually?

It will be a long time, but the hope is that eventually digital currency is globally accepted and regulated.

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Posted by John Weru Maina

John Weru is a Kenya-born writer who has been writing since his teenage years. He believes that digital currencies hold the key to unlocking the potential of e-commerce and m-commerce globally, and powering Africa’s participation in international trade.